hands covered in foam being washed

The Real Deal behind Global Handwashing Day

It’s fun to celebrate a cause, taking the time to raise awareness about key topics that affect our population. But often we forget the significance or the inspiration behind why global advocacy days exist. Take Global Handwashing Day for instance. Why do we have a Global Handwashing Day? And how did it start? Here is everything you need to know about the history and significance of Global Handwashing Day.

The Global Handwashing Partnership describes the day as “an annual global advocacy day dedicated to advocating for hand washing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.” So how did the annual event come to life?

In the beginning

In 2008, the first Global Handwashing Day took place. On the 15th October more than 120 million children from more than 70 countries around the world washed their hands with soap. The occasion developed from efforts by The Global Handwashing Partnership to actively change hand washing behaviour and to recognize hygiene as a fundamental foundation of international development and public health.

The significance of this day

While hand washing may seem like an obvious way to protect your health, there are actually loads of reasons why basic sanitation is not used or available to people across the globe. For instance, did you know that 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch and yet one in every five people don’t wash their hands. And did you know that only three out of five people in the world had basic hand washing facilities in 2017 according to UNICEF data.

Hand washing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting ill or spreading germs. So, education about the risks and benefits associated with hand washing can considerably reduce the number of people who get sick and even die from infectious diseases.

Global Handwashing Day is used as a platform, dedicated to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

This year on the 15 October celebrate Global Handwashing Day by encouraging and facilitating people to wash their hands at critical times. Because hand hygiene can save lives!