Global Handwashing Day is a global awareness day dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease and save lives. This is an opportunity to design, test and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
Before COVID-19, hand washing and its importance in preventing the spread of disease was something most of us probably never thought about. But the global pandemic has really revealed the importance of handwashing, which means this day is even more important now. The first Global Handwashing Day took place in 2008, when more than 120 million children in more than 70 countries around the world washed their hands with soap. Since 2008, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to promote handwashing, build sinks and faucets, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of cleaning hands
Washing your hands is such a simple practice, but it can really make a difference and save lives. This is the day to create a culture of handwashing with soap in all societies, to raise awareness of the state of handwashing in every country, and to educate people about the benefits of handwashing with soap.
Because of that, Global Handwashing Day continues to grow. It is supported by schools, the government, international institutions, private companies, civil society organizations, and much more. You too can do your part by developing a handwashing habit! Implement as a family before meals. Encourage hand washing at home, schools, workplaces, healthcare facilities, etc.
Facts about Handwashing Day
- According to a study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, hand care can reduce mortality from respiratory disease by 25% and death from diarrhea by 50%. It’s as easy as washing your hands with soap.
- India was one of the biggest players on Global Handwashing Day 2008. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates fight for better health and hygiene with an estimated 100 million children.
- More than 10 million people in 17 countries currently do not have handwashing facilities. The availability of water and soap in handwashing facilities varies. In Ethiopia, only 0.1% of households have soap and water in handwashing facilities, while in Iraq, 91% of households have these items.
- Only 60% of the world’s population has access to basic handwashing facilities.
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