Global Handwashing Day
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of handwashing with soap. We would like to use this momentum to advocate for Hand Hygiene for All in the long-term.
October 15 is Global Handwashing Day (GHD), a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives .
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are reminded of the critical role hand hygiene plays in disease transmission.
Below are some facts about handwashing:
- Handwashing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30% to 48%.
- Handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by 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.
- Handwashing is also key in the fight against COVID-19. Handwashing with soap destroys the outer membrane of the virus and thereby inactivates it. One study found that regular handwashing with soap can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by 36%.
For more information on the #globalhandwashingday initiative, visit https://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/