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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Trip fives: Remember five hand hygiene indications on 5/5 May

The world has dirty hands, but who is trying to do anything about? Well, the World Health Organization for one, which has designated May 5, 2012 an international day of hand hygiene observance. The 5th day of the 5th month leads us to another five: The 5 Moments that hand hygiene is recommended for health-care workers clean their hands: • before touching a patient; • before aseptic procedures; • after being exposed to a patient's body fluids; • after touching a patient; and • after touching the patient's surroundings. As part of a major global effort to improve hand hygiene in health care, led by WHO to support health-care workers, the “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” annual global campaign was launched in 2009 and is a natural extension of the WHO “First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care work.” The campaign is designed to galvanise action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducing health care-associated infection and patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world's commitment to this priority area of health care. WHO's role includes encouraging engagement and action to maintain this global movement. Numbers are a great awareness-raising mechanism, as demonstrated by the growing number of health-care facilities registered for “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” after two years of a call to action, but they are not the end point. Sustaining the efforts to improve patient safety requires dedicated action and innovation both of which are now more crucial than ever. WHO have appreciated receiving communications about country and health-care facility activities. Action must continue; use the WHO tools to support your actions. For more information go to: