Day of Hand Hygiene 2023: RED NOSES tour starts

04.May 2023

Vienna, 05 May 2023 - It's that time of year again! The 5th of May marks the 14th International Day of Hand Hygiene. Established and recognized by the WHO, this day aims to promote the importance of hand hygiene in relation to healthcare.

RED NOSES will once again be touring hospitals in cooperation with the Semmelweis Foundation. Through humour and play, clowns show how hospital staff, patients, and visitors can save lives by properly disinfecting their hands. This year the clowns will be touring Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

A catchy tune for hand hygiene

This year, RED NOSES will once again be performing the song "Proper, Proper Hand Hygiene", which was composed especially for Hand Hygiene Day and translated into English for the new participating countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. This fun and cheerful song, performed with a ukulele, aims to help patients, visitors, and hospital staff memorise the correct hand-washing technique.

Johannes Culen, Secretary General of the Semmelweis Foundation stated: "The Semmelweis Foundation has set itself the goal of bringing the issues of hospital hygiene, nosocomial infections and antibiotic resistance not only to the attention of the public but also to the agenda of responsible decision-makers in institutions and on the political stage. In this context, properly performed alcohol-based hand disinfection plays a crucial role. At home, it is enough to simply wash hands with soap, but in healthcare facilities, hands must be treated with alcohol-based disinfectants before and after each contact with patients. In hospitals and healthcare facilities, this should be a daily routine and standard for all hospital staff, but visitors can also make a big difference with a mandatory trip to the disinfectant dispenser. Ultimately, they can be lifesavers."

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Fighting fears with fun and humour

When RED NOSES visit hospitals, fears and worries are replaced with fun and humour. As professionals in "humorous health intervention", RED NOSES know exactly how to connect with their audience and create unforgettable moments.

The Semmelweis Foundation´s cooperation with RED NOSES for International Hand Hygiene Day is based on both organisation’s many years of experience in hospital environments. With this in mind, numerous facilities will be visited - taking into account the specific safety precaution of each facility.

Ivana Bacanovic, Managing Director of RED NOSES commented: "The well-being and health of the people we visit is always a top priority for RED NOSES. It is therefore natural that we support the Semmelweis Foundation in its efforts to improve hospital hygiene. It is a routine for our clowns and staff to thoroughly disinfect their hands before going to the hospital. We are happy to do our part to remind everyone involved in the hospital environment of the need for proper hand hygiene. We firmly believe that a positive, fun experience is the best teacher and shows people how easily, and perhaps later intuitively, they can save lives themselves."

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About the Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis Society

The Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis Society (Semmelweis Foundation) is a non-profit and independent association in central Vienna, founded in 2012 by committed private individuals. The Semmelweis Society's mission is to create or strengthen public awareness of the need for properly applied hospital hygiene. The Foundation is named after Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), Viennese surgeon and obstetrician, founder of evidence-based medicine and "inventor" of hand hygiene. The Semmelweis Society deals with the topics of nosocomial infections, antibiotic resistance and interdisciplinarity in the field of hospital hygiene.

Further details about the Semmelweis Society can be found at:

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For any queries, please contact:

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis Gesellschaft
Johannes Culen
Börsegasse 7/4 1010 Wien
Tel.: +43 664 5128875

Corporate identity prihoda gmbh
Christian Zacharnik
Peter Jordan Straße 74 1190 Wien
Tel.: +43 1 4796366 31