Vietnam signs up for WHO’s ‘Save lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign

The Ministry of Health signed a pledge with the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 20 to take part in the First Global Patient Safety Challenge titled “Save lives: Clean Your Hands.”

Vietnam became the 118th country to pledge support to the campaign to reduce the global health burden imposed by health care-associated-infection.

This is o­ne of the largest contributors to disease burden in developing countries. Many studies have shown that health-care-associated infections increase fatality rates, increase hospital treatment time and costs, and increase the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance.

It also has a psychological impact o­n patients and their families. 

One of the most important but simple ways to reduce this burden is for health-care workers to practice good hand hygiene. 

By cleaning their hands using the methods recommended by WHO (either by washing hands with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based solution), they can help save lives and reduce hospital-acquired infections.

This simple and good practice should be used in every situation where patients require care and treatment -- in hospitals or clinics, private homes, and ambulances.

On May 5, the WHO Guidelines o­n Hand Hygiene in Health Care will be launched along with a set of tools which set the standard for improving hand hygiene. 

Through the "SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands" initiative, the First Global Patient Safety Challenge is inviting hospitals and health-care facilities to join together to create greater global awareness and action. 

The target is 5000 facilities by May 2010 and seven hospitals in Vietnam have already expressed their interest. 

Health-care facilities in Viet Nam will be able to access all the materials and toolkits produced by WHO and global expertise.

Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuyen and representatives of other agencies attended the signing ceremony.