Spotlight on hand hygiene in the Czech Republic

Dana Hedlová

Hand hygiene is especially important in health care settings

As in previous years, the Czech Republic utilized WHO Hand Hygiene Day (5 May) this year to draw attention to the importance of good hand hygiene for the prevention of disease. The activities organized throughout the country contributed to the Ministry of Health’s pledge signed on 23 June 2011 to support measures to reduce health-care-associated infection.

Special events were organized in hospitals, national and regional public health institutes and primary schools on 5 May 2014, urging good hand hygiene, with a particular focus in hospitals on protecting patients from contracting infections.


A briefing on hand hygiene was prepared for patients, visitors and staff at more than 25 hospitals. Participants could test their skill in implementing proper washing and hand disinfection by placing their hands in a special unit that revealed any remaining dirt. Thousands of health care professionals also participated in an online e-learning competition called “5 Moments”, focusing on good hand hygiene to prevent nosocomial infections.

Focus on antimicrobial resistance

This year's campaign at the Department of Hospital Hygiene of the Military University Hospital in Prague focused on the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Education in hand hygiene was therefore enriched with a simple questionnaire focused on the use of antibiotics. The survey results, based on the responses of 72 people, including 45 medical professionals, indicated that antibiotics had been used by every third person and almost every second medical professional in the previous year.