COVID-19 Prevention - Patient Advice on Hand Washing

The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene

These 5 moments for hand hygiene is recommended by the WHO, and is evidence-based and field-tested.
The focus is on the user to regularly clean their hands, and is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.

Source: WHO

Example from Nigeria: A supply for clean water is not readily available to everyone.

Hand hygiene but no running water?

A study from Nigeria [1] shared their results of a 12 person study on different methods of hand hygiene for use in setting of limited and no running water. Using evidence of bacterial contamination to determine how effective each method was.

Source: Results – data from Ogunsola and Adeiji (2008) [1]

It appears that soap and running water still provide the best form of hand hygiene and re-use of bowls introduce greater risk of contamination.
The lack of running water has been overcome by use of buckets with taps, such as the Veronica Bucket, or an additional person with clean hands to pour water from a uncontaminated source.

Join our discussion on MedShr by adding your comments and sharing your experiences.

Useful Resources:

WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance

Which materials are best for home-made face masks? (coming soon)


  1. Ogunsola FT, Adesiji YO. Comparison of four methods of hand washing in situations of inadequate water supply. West Afr J Med. 2008;27(1):24‐28

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