We do hope that handwashing is a regular practice that you do every day, but on October 15 you should put just a little more thought to it as it is Global Handwashing Day. Until COVID-19 happened, handwashing and its importance in helping prevent the spread of diseases is something that most of us probably never gave much thought to. But the global pandemic has really shone a light on the importance of handwashing, meaning this day now carries extra relevance, even though it has been around since 2008.
If you think that not washing your hands after leaving the bathroom is disgusting, then you’ll probably be surprised at how many people don’t wash their hands daily. Thus, comes in Global Handwashing Day, a day where good hygiene is encouraged and practiced all around the world by millions of people. So let’s get started learning about the importance of this hygienic day!
History of Global Handwashing Day
This campaign, established by the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008, was made to help motivate people to improve their hand washing habits. This day was promoted by the UN General Assembly when its first event took place during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.
World Water Week is a week-long global water conference that addresses the issues of sustainability with water consumption and development. The focus for Global Handwashing Day was school children. This global advocacy day successfully reigned in with over 120 million children around the world participating in better hand care in over 70 countries around the world.
India was one of their biggest participants during that year, as cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates joined an estimated 100 million school children around the country in lathering up for better health and hygiene.
According to their website, each year over 100 million people participate in this event in over 100 countries and is endorsed by various governments, institutions, and organizations to promote better hand washing.
The GHP implements new and creative ways to promote people to wash hands with soap and continues to do research during this day to track the progress of human routine. According to a study conducted by the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, hand care can reduce the mortality rate of respiratory disease by 25% and diarrheal diseases can be reduced by 50%, and this is all just by washing your hands with soap.
How to Celebrate Global Handwashing Day
Keeping up a routine of washing your hands after you eat or leave the bathroom can reduce the risks of diseases more so that vaccines and medications. Washing your hands during this day can also cultivate others to keep their hygiene up. You can also hashtag #globalhandwashingday on social media and look up statistics of how handwashing can easily prevent infectious diseases and share that information with your friends.
History of Global Handwashing Day
Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership as an opportunity to design and implement creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap, especially during critical times.
The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008. Since then, the community as well as national leaders and influencers have used this national holiday to spread awareness about the value of clean hands. It really is a valuable message, hand washing is such a simple practice, but it really can make all the difference and save lives.
Global Handwashing Day continues to grow. It’s endorsed by schools, governments, international institutions, private companies, civil society organizations, and more.