Global Handwashing Day

Published by Laurie McLendon on

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

Categories: Blog- ICR