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The ‘SAVE LIVES’ Campaign: What You Need To Know

Posted by Becky on May 5, 2017

Every year on the 5th May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) runs the ‘SAVE LIVES: Wash Your Hands’ campaign, with a new focus every year. It was launched back in 2009 to promote hand hygiene in healthcare across the globe, since this simple act is the most effective way of reducing the spread of infection.

hand washing

The main focus of the campaign this year is to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance in the context of hand hygiene and infection control, something that’s particularly significant since incidents involving the almost untreatable superbug, CPE (carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae), immune to some of the last-line of antibiotics available, rose in UK hospitals.

Of course, frequent hand washing is important to combat the spread of all infectious diseases, no matter how serious or life-threatening. As a commercial cleaning company with over 25 years’ experience providing cleaning services for healthcare establishments, we’re aware of this more than most.

Keep reading to find out more about the annual ‘SAVE LIVES’ campaign and discover the most effective technique for washing your hands!

Celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day: Spread the word, not germs!

Every year the ‘SAVE LIVES’ campaign slogan changes to raise awareness of different aspects of infection control - this year’s slogan is ‘Fight antibiotic resistance – it’s in your hands’. The aim of the campaign is to protect patients from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Although hand washing won’t cure somebody who already has an antibiotic-resistant infection, it does help prevent the spread of germs.

Hand washing

Experts have warned that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to the world and could turn the clock back on medical advances by making some surgery, such as heart transplants, impossible.’

So, surely the most important question is, what can you do to help fight antibiotic resistance?

drug capsuleAntibiotics don’t cure viral infections like colds, flu, or norovirus. Overuse of antibiotics is a major cause of antibiotic resistance, so you should only take them if they’re the appropriate treatment.

drug capsuleIf you’ve been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection, ensure you use them as prescribed and complete the entire course, as misuse (such as not taking antibiotics at the right time) leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

As mentioned previously, handwashing won’t stop antibiotic resistance, but it will help to protect yourself and others against illness. Below are the steps you should follow to wash your hands effectively (as recommended by the WHO).

how to wash hands WHO

Without routine washing of hands and proper cleaning of surfaces, stomach bugs and other viruses are able to thrive (the stomach bug norovirus can survive for days or even weeks on hard surfaces), causing the spread of illness-causing germs.

Healthcare Cleaning Services for Manchester

Providing private clinics, GP and dental surgeries with cleaning services presents a unique set of challenges for cleaners, whereby sanitation and standards of cleaning is imperative to the safety of patients, visitors and staff. It requires an experienced provider with impeccable standards of service and experience.

If you require CQC compliant healthcare cleaners in Manchester or the surrounding areas, look no further than ServiceMaster Manchester. We provide a range of specialist medical cleaning services such as clinical waste disposal, dental study removal and more. Call now on 0161 905 3000.


Clean Care is Safer Care, World Health Organisation

How to wash your hands, National Health Service (NHS)


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