October 15: Global Handwashing Day

On October 15, Global Handwashing Day was observed across the world in order to raise awareness and develop better understanding on the importance of hand hygiene in keeping people safe and healthy.

Theme of the day

Theme of the ‘Global handwashing Day’ in year 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.”

Significance of the day

The Global handwashing Day has become more significant in the backdrop of Covid-19 outbreak. Amid the pandemic, personal hygiene has become critical to overall health of the person. Making personal hygiene a part of daily routine has saved several lives and has prevented viral infections & flu.

Significance of washing hands

Washing hands is significance because,

  1. According to Wateraid, around 443 million school days are lost across the world due to water-related illnesses and lack of hand hygiene, every year.
  2. As per National Health Mission, around one lakh children in India die yearly because of diarrhoea, which is preventable. As per UNICEF, diarrhoea can be reduced by 40% simply by washing hands.
  3. Washing hands decrease the number of people having gastrointestinal problems by 29-57%.
  4. It can drop the number of people with weakened immune systems by 58%.
  5. It helps in cutting down respiratory illnesses and infections by 16-21%.

How long one can wash hands?

One should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Who established the day?

The Global Handwashing Day was established by the “Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP)” in the year 2008. GHP was formerly called as “Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW)”.

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