May 5th is all about clean hands. At least if the World Health Organization (WHO) has its way, which declared this date to be World Hand Hygiene Day or World Hand Hygiene Day ( Save Lives: Clean Your Hands ) in 2009 . Reason enough to include this day of action in the calendar of curious holidays from around the world and to tell its story in this article. Why should we wash our hands today?
Who started World Hand Hygiene Day?
As already mentioned at the beginning, the World Hand Hygiene Day goes back to an initiative of the World Health Organization and the year 2009. The basis here is/was the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign, which is primarily intended to raise awareness of the need for hand hygiene among healthcare workers.
Against this background, the difference to World Handwashing Day on October 15, which is also initiated by the WHO, but has a much broader focus with regard to its target group – namely all people – can be explained. In contrast, today’s 5th May focuses more on the staff of medical facilities.
Why does hand hygiene day fall on May 5th?
In contrast to many other curious holidays and action days, there is a very specific reason for choosing the date in the case of World Hand Hygiene Day. Because of the date of 05.05. According to the WHO, it symbolizes the two five fingers of a person.
Whether it’s about a substantive connection to also committed on May 5 international addition day of the photo frame (English International Picture Frame Day.), The International Hebammentag (English International Midwive’s Day or:. International Day of the Midwife) or the US Astronaut Day (English National Astronaut Day) or the cartoonist day (English National Cartoon Day) or the day of the filled baguette (English National Hoagie Day), I could not find out in the course of research. Purely thematically, however, it would definitely fit at least for the first-mentioned day of action.
Why is hand hygiene so important?
Hand hygiene is – not only in the medical field – one of the most important protective measures for avoiding infections. Regardless of whether it is flu viruses, gastrointestinal diseases or infections – washing and disinfecting hands correctly and regularly should be a top priority for all medical staff. Especially in view of the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant germs in medical facilities.
But be careful: Anyone who thinks that they now simply use disinfectants from the medical field for domestic use should think again. On the one hand, these agents disinfect so efficiently that they kill all germs on the skin. So also those that the body needs to strengthen its immune system. On the other hand, in times of the Covid 19 pandemic, they should also be reserved for the facilities that really need them.
With this in mind: wash your hands.