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Hand hygiene represents the single most effective way to prevent healthcare-associated infections. The World Health Organization, as part of its First Global Patient Safety Challenge, recommends implementation of multi-faceted strategies to increase compliance with hand hygiene. A questionnaire was sent by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to 30 European countries, regarding the availability and organisation of their national hand hygiene campaigns. All countries responded. Thirteen countries had organised at least one national campaign during the period 2000-2009 and three countries were in the process of organising a national campaign. Although the remaining countries did not have a national campaign, several reported regional and local hand hygiene activities or educational resources on national websites.


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