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Speech on World Hand Hygiene Day – 5 May
Today is World Hand Hygiene Day, a day dedicated to promoting and raising awareness about the importance of hand hygiene. This day is particularly relevant in the current global scenario where the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hand hygiene is a simple but effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can kill germs and viruses that may be present on our hands.
Regular hand washing is especially crucial during this pandemic, as it can significantly reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. By washing our hands regularly, we not only protect ourselves but also help protect our loved ones, colleagues, and our community.
But hand hygiene is not just relevant during a pandemic. In our daily lives, we come into contact with numerous germs and bacteria that can cause illnesses. Regular hand washing can help prevent the spread of these germs and keep us healthy.
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World Hand Hygiene Day reminds us of the critical role hand hygiene plays in keeping us healthy and preventing the spread of diseases. It is a call to action for individuals, communities, and governments to work together to ensure that everyone has access to clean water, soap, and sanitizer.
So on this World Hand Hygiene Day, let us pledge to make hand hygiene a priority in our lives. Let us commit to washing our hands regularly, covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing, and taking other precautions to protect ourselves and others.
Theme for World Hand Hygiene Day 2023
The invitation is to engage in the campaign and keep in mind the theme for World Hand Hygiene Day 2023: “Together, we can accelerate action to prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance in health care and build a culture of safety and quality in which hand hygiene improvement is given high priority.”
Hand hygiene saves millions of lives every year when performed at the right time and in the right way during health care delivery, while improving hand hygiene in health care settings saves approximately US$ 16.5 in health care expenditure for every US dollar invested.
Did you know?
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are among the most frequent adverse events occurring in health service delivery. These infections, many of which are caused by multidrug-resistant organisms, harm patients, visitors and health workers and place a significant burden on health systems. In Europe alone, some 9 million HAIs occur every year in acute and long-term care facilities; they lead to 25 million extra-hospital days and cost 13-24 billion euros.
WHO believes that no one receiving or providing health care should be exposed to the risk of being harmed by a preventable infection. Hand hygiene and cleanliness provide dignity and are a sign of respect to those who are seeking care and facilitate the work of those delivering it.
Preventing an infection and its spread can have huge benefits in reducing human suffering and loss of lives.