World Health Organization’s Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Campaign

Date of publication:

The World Health Organization (WHO) in their SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands annual initiative activities, are again issuing a global call to action inviting healthcare workers, facilities and organisations throughout the world to actively campaign for improved hand hygiene at the point of care to reduce healthcare-associated infections and to demonstrate their commitment to this priority global movement. 

The Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority) continues to support the WHO’s Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Campaign to reduce, control and prevent the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections. This international campaign promotes good hand-hygiene practices in healthcare facilities.

Over the last three years the Authority has undertaken over 110 monitoring assessments of the hygiene services in Irish hospitals, using the National Hygiene Services Quality Standards. Hand hygiene is recognised as the single most important preventative measure in the transmission of Healthcare Associated Infections. During the monitoring assessments, the Authority focused on opportunities for hand hygiene and whether or not staff took these opportunities and used the correct technique. The WHO’s guidelines and observation tools form a crucial part of the monitoring assessments.

In May 2009, the Authority launched National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections. The standards were approved by the Board of the Authority and mandated by the Minister for Health and Children. They represent a critical component in supporting the ongoing requirement to prevent and control Healthcare Associated Infections in Ireland.

“Healthcare Associated Infections continue to be an important patient safety issue and a growing challenge for many healthcare systems. Reducing, controlling and preventing these infections should be a priority for all involved in the provision of health and social care services. High quality hygiene services are essential in driving down these infections,” said Jon Billings, Director of Healthcare Quality and Safety, Health Information and Quality Authority.

“The Authority is fully committed to supporting the ongoing international and national drive for quality improvements in reducing Healthcare Associated Infections, including better hand-hygiene practices, and will continue to support the WHO’s Global Patient Safety Challenge,” he added.

Download the new WHO Hand Hygiene Survey at


Further Information: 

For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
01 814 7481 / 086 2447 623