World Hand Hygiene Day 2023


5 May 2023

Today is World Hand Hygiene Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of good hand hygiene in health care settings and its direct link to overall health.

The theme this year is “Accelerate Action Together” which focuses on accelerating action to prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance in health care. In Canada, it is estimated that 250,000 people–one out of every nine patients, who are admitted to hospital every year pick up infections while being treated for something else.

Hand hygiene, whether performed using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, remains one of the most effective ways to prevent and control the spread of infections.

Evidence shows that the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is the most effective method for reducing bacterial contamination on an individual’s hands, when hands are not visibly soiled. If hands are dirty, then choose soap and running water. Both methods reduce the spread of microorganisms that can cause illness and spread infection, and both methods are effective for cleaning hands.

Public Health Ontario (PHO) provides multiple resources to promote hand hygiene and share best-practices in hand hygiene across all health care settings. Check out our instructional videos on how to properly use ABHR and wash your hands.

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Published 5 May 2023