Turn Africa Orange

Why a campaign for Turning Africa Orange?

Every year on the 5th May, WHO with the collaboration of states and health-care facilities all around the world, runs an annual campaign for promoting hand hygiene. The slogan is “Save Lives: Clean your Hands” ,. This global campaign has been very successful and the goal of the number of registered healthcare facilities has already been reached and exceeded- currently , there are 21,372 health-care facilities registered in 180 countries .

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Data from World Health Organisation SAVE LIVES Campaign website. The number of health-care facilities registered for SAVE LIVES is adjusted by population per country. Fully adjusted estimates based on total number of health care facilities per country are not available and the estimates here may not fully represent the actual health-care facility coverage in each country.  Accurate as of 21st May 2018.

The African map for hand hygiene updated by WHO in May 2017 (see image above), illustrates the level of the participation of different countries, by the intensity of the orange color for that country. unfortunately, African countries participation is very low as seen on the map.

Progress towards Turning Africa Orange May 2013 to May 2016.

This is a big concern for ICAN especially because of the growing interest and future prospects for improving Patient Safety in Africa. In fact, arguably hand hygiene is basic and the most effective way to prevent health-care associated infections, the methodology and the tools provided by WHO have numerous positive impacts on health systems This includes

  • Raising awareness on the scourge of health-care associated infections;
  • Improving the organization of the care delivery;
  • Acquiring new attitudes about working as a team, the importance of being a good team player for health-care workers, the importance and the need for audit of the professional practices and the notion of performance on health-care activities.

The process of implementing hand hygiene programs using multi- modal strategies in health-care facilities should be a first priority process and the entry point for Patient Safety in Africa. Moreover, hand hygiene gives us an opportunity to raise awareness on another topic for which WHO is currently attaching critical importance- antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship.

For all these reasons, ICAN calling for action by all African countries to “make Africa more orange and to save more lives”.

An ICAN focal point has been appointed for each African region to reach all stakeholders and decision makers in the health systems for concrete actions through an official letter of ICAN board.

We hope ICAN will work hard between now and 5th May 2017 to Turn Africa Orange! So register your healthcare facility on line as soon as possible.


Professor Folasade Ogunsola
Chair ICAN

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