October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

October 15th, 2021

The 2021 theme is, ‘Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together’.

COVID-19 continues to highlight the critical role hand hygiene plays.

 

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. It is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since 2008, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands.

Handwashing with soap can reduce the transmission of a range of diseases:
  • Handwashing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30%
  • Handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by up to 20%
  • Handwashing plays an important role in reducing the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS and hepatitis E
  • Hand hygiene is protective against healthcare associated infections and reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance
  • Hand hygiene may contribute to the reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Healthabitat continues to endorse Global Handwashing Day and a focus on functioning Health Hardware every other day of the year. 

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