Friday, October 12, 2012

Global Handwashing Day 2012: October 15 2012

The practice of handwashing with soap tops the international hygiene agenda on October 15th, with the celebration of Global Handwashing Day.

Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia, which together are responsible for the deaths of over 3.5m children under the age of 5 every year. In developed countries, handwashing helps to prevent the spread of viral infections, such as norovirus, rotavirus and influenza.

Although people around the world wash their hands with water, many do not wash their hands with soap at critical moments, including after going to the toilet and before handling or eating food. The challenge is to transform handwashing with soap from an abstract good idea into an automatic behaviour carried out in homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

Global Handwashing Day is the centrepiece of a week of activities that aim to mobilise millions of people to wash their hands with soap. This simple activity could save more lives than any vaccine or medical intervention, preventing the spread of infection and keeping children in school.

Children, who so often are energetic, enthusiastic and open to new ideas, can act as agents of change by taking the handwashing lessons learned at school back into their homes and communities. Global Handwashing Day aims to motivate children to embrace and share proper handwashing practices and to take on the role of handwashing ambassadors. Source: Global Handwashing Day:

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