World Hand Hygiene Day

The 'Save Lives: Clean Your Hands' global campaign was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009. World Hand Hygiene Day is held annually on 5 May.

World Hand Hygiene Day aims to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to bring people together in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2021

For World Hand Hygiene Day 2021 the WHO is calling on healthcare workers and health service organisations to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care – wherever care or treatment involving contact with the patient or their surroundings occurs.

The 2021 World Hand Hygiene Day campaign slogan is: 'Seconds save lives – clean your hands!'

World Hand Hygiene Day Video Message from the Commission

This 15 minute video message has been prepared by the Commission to celebrate this year’s World Hand Hygiene Day and to explore how Australian health services are achieving hand hygiene at the point of care. Health services are welcome to use this video as part of their local World Hand Hygiene Day activities.


The following infographics are available for download:


What can you do to support World Hand Hygiene Day? 

In addition to supporting implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative in health service organisations, everyone can contribute to effective hand hygiene:

Healthcare workers:

  • Always clean your hands at the point of care
  • Make sure you know how to clean your hands and why hand hygiene is important – visit our online learning modules if you want to know more.

Infection prevention and control practitioners:

  • Be a champion and mentor for clean hands at the point of care
  • Support your organisation's hand hygiene program.

Health service organisation managers:

  • Ensure your organisation has an active hand hygiene program
  • Ensure hand hygiene supplies are available at every point of care.

Patients and families:

  • Help us to help you – please clean your hands too!


  • Make clean hands your habit – it protects us all.

Useful links and resources

WHO World Hand Hygiene Day 2021 website

National Hand Hygiene Initiative promotional materials