Global Handwashing Day
|Global Handwashing Day|
Logo used for Global Handwashing Day around the world. Shown in the image are water, soap, and hand.
|Celebrations||"Our hands, our future!"|
|Next time||15 October 2021|
|First time||15 October 2008|
|Related to||Menstrual hygiene day|
Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is an international handwashing promotion campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. Washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important.
Global Handwashing Day occurs on 15 October of each year. The global campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key factor in disease prevention. Respiratory and intestinal diseases can be reduced by 25-50%.
Implementation and management
The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) (formerly called "Public Private Partnership for Handwashing" (PPPHW)) established Global Handwashing Day in 2008 as a way to promote a global and local vision of handwashing with soap.
Steering Committee members of the GHP include Colgate-Palmolive; FHI 360; The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Procter & Gamble; UNICEF; Unilever; University at Buffalo; USAID; the Water and Sanitation Programme at the World Bank; and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.
Continued research on handwashing habits and practices is commissioned in conjunction with GHD. In 2011, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA), sponsored a study to assess the handwashing habits of American and Canadian adults, finding that many were not using soap when washing their hands.
The stated aims of Global Handwashing Day are to:
- Foster and support a general culture of handwashing with soap in all societies
- Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country
- Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.
Each year, over 200 million people celebrate Global Handwashing Day.
- On 15 October 2014, Madhya Pradesh, an Indian state, won the Guinness World Record for the most massive handwashing program. There were 1,276,425 children in 51 different districts participating.
- Sometimes, groups choose to celebrate GHD on other dates than 15 October. In Ethiopia, 300 people celebrated Global Handwashing Day in Addis Ababa on 1 November in 2013.
- On 15 October 2015, Lupok Central Elementary School, Guiuan Eastern Samar, Philippines, celebrated the Global Handwashing Day by doing the proper handwashing before starting classes.
Global Handwashing Day was initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) in August 2008 at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. This means that the first Global Handwashing Day took place on 15 October 2008. The date was appointed by the UN General Assembly. The year 2008 was also the International Year of Sanitation. The founding bodies in 2008 included: FHI360 (a nonprofit human development organization based in the US), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Procter & Gamble, UNICEF, Unilever, World Bank Water & Sanitation Program and the United States Agency for International Development.
Themes for annual Global Handwashing Day
- 2020 - Hand Hygiene for All.
- 2019 - Clean Hands for All. In the USA, the US CDC used the theme Life is Better with Clean Hands and launched throughout the USA a national hand hygiene campaign targeting adults who are parents and caregivers in communicating the importance of handwashing before cooking at home and after using the bathroom when out in public. They used ideas such as 'Handwashing: a family activity' and 'Handwashing: A healthy habit in the kitchen' when focusing on parent' educational roles with their children.
- 2018 - Clean hands - a recipe for health.
- 2017 - Our hands, our future.
- 2016 - Make handwashing a habit.
- 2015 - Raise a hand for hygiene.
- 2014 - Clean hands save lives. In 2014, Global Handwashing Day was used as an opportunity to fight Ebola. In Nigeria, for example, Concern Universal and Carex sponsored events featuring singer Sunny Neji.
- 2013 - The power is in your hands.
- 2012 - I am a handwashing advocate.
- 2011 - Clean hands save lives.
- 2010 - Children and Schools.
- 2009 - Spread the word, not the germs.
- 2008 - The focus for Global Handwashing Day's inaugural year in 2008 was school children. In that year, the members pledged to get the maximum number of school children handwashing with soap in more than 70 countries. In India in 2008, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates joined an estimated 100 million schoolchildren around the country in lathering up for better health and hygiene as part of the first Global Handwashing Day.
The campaign was initiated to reduce childhood mortality rates and related respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioral changes, such as handwashing with soap. This simple action can reduce the mortality rate of respiratory disease by 25%. Death from diarrheal diseases can be reduced by 50%. Across the world, more than 60 percent of health workers do not adhere to proper hand hygiene. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US health care providers, on average, wash their hands less than half of the time they should. On any given day, one in 25 US hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection.
Importance of handwashing
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Handwashing with soap is very effective and the least expensive way to prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Pneumonia, a major ARI (acute respiratory infection), is the number one cause of mortality among children under five years old, killing an estimated 1.8 million children per year. Diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually. Handwashing with soap is estimated to reduce cases of diarrhea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% in children under the age of five.
It is important to make handwashing into a habit. Making good handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into a regular habit can save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.
The Global Handwashing Day helps raise awareness of the importance of washing with soap, but it also makes it fun for children to get involved.
Proper hygiene requires that individuals know the importance of good hygiene and develop the habits to carry it out. There are people with plenty of money who nonetheless lack the important habits of timely handwashing with soap, and thereby unknowingly endanger themselves and others around them.
Peer influence is significant for seeing increased handwashing. In a study conducted in Kenya, researchers found that students were much more likely to wash their hands when another student is present. Peer influence is only successful, however, when students know that handwashing is a desirable action.
Related awareness days
The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates a World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May. In 2018 the theme was prevention of sepsis in health care. The theme of the year before was to combat antibiotic resistance (AMR).
- The US Peace Corps volunteers have contributed to observation of Global Handwashing Day.
- Global Handwashing Day supports the [[2013 Water for the World Act, which aims to improve effectiveness and efficiency of that part of U.S. foreign aid which is committed to global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) by ensuring that funds will reach the neediest human populations who require WASH interventions the most.
A 2012 study from China attempted to qualitatively assess Chinese social media users’ reactions to Global Handwashing Day (GHD) 2012, in particular, and to health promotion campaigns in general. They concluded that social media data in China can be used to evaluate public health campaigns in China.
- Behaviour change (public health)
- Biological hazard
- Infection control
- Infectious disease
- Menstrual Hygiene Day
- Sustainable Sanitation Alliance
- World Toilet Day
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- Global Handwashing Partnership: Our History
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- "Daily Current Affairs". PendulumEdu. PendulumEdu. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- Digital Toolkit for the CDC's Life is Better with Clean Hands, which is useful globally
- US CDC's Global Handwashing Day home page
- CDC's Handwashing: A Family Activity website
- CDC's Handwashing: A Healthy Habit in the Kitchen website
- Global Handwashing Partnership: Our History. Home page
- Global Handwashing Day website
- usaidwaterckm. Global Handwashing Day – Water Currents. Water Currents: Sanitation Updates, October 13, 2017.
- 'Make Handwashing a Habit’ on #GlobalHandwashingDay. Global Citizen: Water & Sanitation.
- Why Make Handwashing a Habit? An explanation of the Global Handwashing Day 2016 theme. September 19, 2016Global Handwashing Day: Community Forum.
- On Global Handwashing Day, raise a hand for hygiene. Peace Corps website. 2015. Accessed October 15, 2019
- Global Handwashing Day. SafetyWise. October 16, 2015.
- "Handwashing One Important Tool in the Ebola Fight". UNICEF. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- "Global Handwashing Day: Handwashing Saves Lives". Concern Universal Nigeria. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Hand-in-Scan: Hand Washing Matters. Today: Global Handwashing Day. 2013.10.15.
- [n/en/press-releases/global-handwashing-day-unicef-says-its-not-complicated-its-crucial On Global Handwashing Day UNICEF says: It's not complicated, but it's crucial Mass mobilization in schools and communities across China on benefits of handwashing. UNICEF website. 17 October 2012]
- dietvorst. “Clean hands save lives” — Global Handwashing Day 2011 is celebrated by millions of people worldwide. Posted on October 24, 2011. Sanitation Updates
- Luuk Diphoorn. Global Handwashing Day 2010. Akvo (development policy blog).
- Saira Saeed Khan. Global Handwashing Day 2009: Spread the word, not the germs. UNICEF website. 9 October 2009.
- Walker, Angela (16 October 2008). "Star Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar Promotes Handwashing in India". UNICEF. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Curtis, Val; Cairncross, Sandy (May 2003). "Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 3 (5): 275–281. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00606-6. PMID 12726975.
- "Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP). 3 May 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- "MOH Celebrates Global Handwashing Day". Arabia 2000. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2015 – via Newspaper Source – EBSCO.
- "The State of the World's Children 2008. Child Survival. UNICEF" (PDF).
- Larsen, Linda (15 October 2013). "Today is Global Handwashing Day". Food Poisoning Bulletin. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Sawyer, Kem Knapp (10 October 2011). "Getting All Lathered Up". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2015 – via Regional Business News – EBSCO.
- Jeffrey Sachs; Myriam Sidibe (15 October 2014). "Global Handwashing Day in the Time of Ebola". Huffington Post.
- Pickering, Amy J.; Blum, Annalise G.; Breiman, Robert F.; Ram, Pavani K.; Davis, Jennifer (27 March 2014). "Video Surveillance Captures Student Hand Hygiene Behavior, Reactivity to Observation, and Peer Influence in Kenyan Primary Schools". PLOS ONE. 9 (3): e92571. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...992571P. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092571. PMC 3968003. PMID 24676389.
- "Infection prevention and control". World Health Organization. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
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- Global Handwashing Day: Handwashing with soap can save one million lives per year. Accessed October 15, 2019
- Fung, IC; Cai, J; Hao, Y; Ying, Y; Chan, BS; Tse, ZT; Fu, KW (2015). "Global Handwashing Day 2012: a qualitative content analysis of Chinese social media reaction to a health promotion event". Western Pac Surveill Response J. 6 (3): 34–42. doi:10.5365/WPSAR.2015.6.2.003. PMC 4675155. PMID 26668765.
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