May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day

New Delhi: The simple task of washing hands is a potential lifesaver -- and to put this point across, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will observe May 5 as the World Hand Hygiene Day.

The campaign was launched by WHO in 2009 to create awareness about the benefits of an improved hand hygiene.

This year`s theme `Save lives - clean your hands` is aimed at improving hand hygiene in the health care sector, where the cleanliness of hands is often credited with saving more lives than most medical breakthroughs.

"It sounds really basic to tell people to keep washing their hands, but hand hygiene is critical in overcoming infections communicated in hospitals, said Jaideep Gupta, managing director of the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

"Making sure hands are clean is a crucial part of ensuring quality and patient safety in our hospitals," Gupta added.

However, the purpose of World Hand Hygiene Day is also to create awareness among the general public about the importance of hand hygiene.

Anupam Sibal, group managing director of Apollo, said that it has been often observed that people try to maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness in and around their homes but forget about their hands.

"Kids must wash hands after using the toilet, after coming back from playground and before and after the meals, as many types of infections can be prevented simply by washing hands," Sibal said.


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