The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s ‘Save lives, clean your hands’ campaign to support healthcare workers, improve hand hygiene and prevent the spread of infectious diseases has gained worldwide support.

About 4,500 healthcare facilities have pledged support to the campaign worldwide, which was launched in May 2009 on the World Hand Hygiene Day.

The WHO’s Guide to Implementation of the Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy recommends healthcare staff to wash their hands with antiseptics before and after touching a patient and their surroundings.

Only 40% of staff comply with hand hygiene requirements, reports the WHO.

Experts feel that the ongoing H1N1 influenza outbreak can also be largely controlled by strictly following the WHO’s hand hygiene strategy.

According to WHO estimates, more than 1.4m people are affected with healthcare-associated infections globally.