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Clean Hands Save Lives Says the HSE

Tuesday, 6th March 2012

The HSE has launched a month long campaign ‘Clean Hands Save Lives’ to coincide with the World Health Organization’s World Hand Hygiene Day which takes place today, Thursday 5th May.

The campaign was launched with the publication of a new information leaflet- ‘Clean Hands Save Lives’, by the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Aimed at healthcare staff, patients, visitors and residents of all healthcare facilities the leaflet is a reminder that proper hand hygiene is one of the most simple andeffective ways to reduce health care-associated infections, which affect hundreds of millions of patients around the world every year, says the HSE’s Clinical lead in Healthcare Associated Infections, Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick.

“While the WHO has chosen a single day to highlight the issue, the HSE will emphasise the importance of hand hygiene for the month of May during which a number of initiatives will take place including a campaign on the HSE website -, and communication activities with HSE employees through the HSE intranet, staff e-mails and newsletters.

“Eighty Irish healthcare facilities have signed up to the WHO campaign and are planning activities for this week.

“A number of activities are also taking place around the country today including information activities by HSE Health Promotion and the Infection Control Team at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan, in the reception area of the hospital and in Navan Shopping Centre.    Advice on appropriate hand hygiene is being provided and questions will be answered about all aspects of keeping hands clean.  Other activities include video demonstrations on hand washing techniques, checking hand cleanliness with an ultraviolet light box, poster displays and questionnaires for the public.

“While the HSE has chosen the month of May to highlight the importance of hand hygiene, education and training takes place on an on-going basis to ensure that hand hygiene remains at the forefront of patient care,” added Dr Fitzpatrick.