By Temple Oraeki
The “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign” is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global call to action for health workers, which is marked annually on May 05. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Fight Antibiotic Resistance – It’s in your hands”.
Each year, the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign aims to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement globally. The campaign also aims to promote the goal of maintaining a global profile on the importance of hand hygiene in health care.
This year’s calls to action as stated by the WHO are:
• Health workers: “Clean your hands at the right times and stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.”
• Hospital Chief Executive Officers and Administrators: “Lead a year-round infection prevention and control programme to protect your patients from resistant infections.”
• Policy makers: “Stop antibiotic resistance spread by making infection prevention and hand hygiene a national policy priority.”
• Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Leaders: “Implement WHO’s Core Components for infection prevention, including hand hygiene, to combat antibiotic resistance.”
On this day, 5 May 2017, we are all reminded to raise our voice and urge health care workers to focus on the fight against antibiotic resistance in the context of hand hygiene. Antibiotic resistance has made it possible for diseases caused by certain bacteria to be untreatable by ‘common’ antibiotic drugs.
When we visit the hospitals, we entrust our lives in the hands of health care workers. How reassuring would it be to know that this trust would not be betrayed? Therefore, the onus is on us to call on our health care workers to keep this ‘trust’ on days like this. Support WHO campaign to SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands by raising your voice and creating awareness. Get hospitals around you to sign up to this campaign.