5 years of Global Patient Safety

Today has been 5 years since the WHO lunched the First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care, at WHO headquarters in Geneva, aiming to support countries as they set priorities to address HAI. Its progress has made a significant change in patient care and infection prevention all over the world.

As part of the launch the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care were made available. Implementation of the Global Patient Safety Challenge is comprised of three major strategies:

  • awareness-raising and campaigning;
  • country statements pledging to address health care-associated infection;
  • testing implementation in districts.

At the launch, several WHO Member States signed a statement committing themselves to addressing HAI in their country. These countries and regions were: Bahrain, England, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and Switzerland. “Since then 132 WHO Member States and autonomous areas have pledged their support. As of May 2013, over 15 700 health-care facilities have committed to improve hand hygiene. This represents approximately 9 million health-care workers and more than 3.9 million patient-beds, an unprecedented achievement. Our efforts and those of health-care workers in these facilities must now be directed towards sustaining improvements and thereby reducing health care-associated infections and patient suffering.” – summed the program’s progress Professor Didier Pittet Director, Infection Control Programme, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine.As a global campaign to improve hand hygiene among health-care workers, SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands is a major component of Clean Care is Safer Care campaign, lunched in 2009.The campaign aims to galvanise action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducingHAI and patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world’s commitment to this priority area of health care. To be part of the movement and join the efforts to build a better future, you are welcomed by the WHO to register to this campaign.


WHO CleanHandNet – a global network of nations committed to patient safety




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