Why is hand hygiene so important?

Thousands of people die every day worldwide due to infections acquired during their health care. The hands are the main vehicle of microbial transmission during health care. Therefore, hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent the transmission of pathogenic germs and prevent infections associated with health care.

Any healthcare worker, caregiver or person involved in the direct or indirect care of the patient has to be involved in hand hygiene and must be able to perform it correctly and at the right time.

Disinfect your hands by preferably rubbing them with an alcoholic preparation for routine hand hygiene when the hands do not show visible dirt. It is faster, more effective and respectful with your hands than washing with soap and water. Wash your hands with soap and water when they are visibly dirty or after using the bathroom. If there is a strong suspicion of exposure to possible spore-forming pathogens, including outbreaks of Clostridium difficile, the mode of choice for handwashing is with soap and water.

More information on http://www.who.int/gpsc/pops/en/