New Delhi: According to UNICEF India, over 1.5 million children under the age of five die every year due to diarrhea. But handwashing with soap before eating, preparing meal and after using the toilet can reduce diarrhea rates by more than 40 per cent. In a bid to motivate people to make handwashing a habit, Global Handwashing Day with a tagline – Clean hands a recipe for health, was initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) in August 2008, at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then, October 15 is observed as Global Handwashing Day, every year. Today, as the world celebrates 11th Global Handwashing Day, here is all you need to know about the day.
History Of Global Handwashing Day 2018
In the first leg of Global Handwashing Day, the theme was school children. In 2008, the aim was to get the maximum number of school children wash their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates joined an estimated 100 million schoolchildren around the country for better health and hygiene as part of the first Global Handwashing Day.
In the year 2014, the campaign was used to fight Ebola, a deadly disease caused by a virus.
Also Read: Global Handwashing Day: School Children Trained On Hygiene Using Innovative Play Based Methods
In the year 2015, Madhya Pradesh won the Guinness World Record for the massive handwashing programme. As per the Guinness declaration, 1,276,425 children washed their hands at over 13,196 locations across the 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Global Handwashing Day (October 15, 2014).
Theme For Global Handwashing Day 2018
Every year, the Global Handwashing Day is celebrated with a theme and this year’s theme focuses on the link between handwashing and food which includes hygiene and nutrition. If an individual’s hands are cleaned properly before heaving a meal or cooking a meal, chances of diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infections are low.
Also Read: Free India From Unsafe Sanitation Practices: Adopt These 5 WASH Practices In Schools For Long-Term Solution
Stark Facts About Handwashing According To UNICEF
1. Incidences of acute respiratory infections (ARI’s) can be brought down by 23 per cent, courtesy handwashing with soap.
2. A study shows that handwashing with soap by birth attendants and mothers significantly increased newborn survival rates by up to 44 per cent.
3. Rates of handwashing around the world ranges from zero per cent to 34 per cent, observed at critical moments – before handling food and after using the toilet.
4. According to different studies, handwashing in institutions such as primary schools and daycare centers reduce the prevalence of diarrhoea by an average of 30 per cent.
Also Read: Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya: 60 Schools To Empower Students With Water, Hygiene And Sanitation Facilities
What You Can Do To Ensure Clean Hands
1. Wash your hands with soap after using a washroom, before and after cooking and eating and petting an animal.
2. If soap is not available, wash it with water. Else, keep a hand sanitiser with you to make sure you never have unclean hands.
3. Make handwashing a part of your and your family’s habit.
4. Make sure soap or handwash is always available in your household, school, institution, work place and other places.
5. Start a conversation around it. The more you discuss the issue, more the people will become aware about the campaign and bring in a behavioural change.
Also Read: Students From A Delhi School Are Strengthening Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Concepts. Here’s All That They Are Doing
Twitteratis Spread The Message Of Clean Hands
In a bid to promote the message of handwashing, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, washes her hands, tell people how to wash hands.
Its #globalhandwashingday today. Let’s promote it more and more as a healthy a habit which prevents disease invading our internal systems. pic.twitter.com/Qttgrneu81
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) October 15, 2018
RT UNICEFIndia "Handwashing is more fun with friends!
Children in #AndhraPradesh make sure they clean their hands properly with soap on #GlobalHandwashingDay. pic.twitter.com/T04mtRWXDM"
— Veer Foundation (@FoundationVeer) October 15, 2018
Happy Global Handwashing Day! #High5ForHandwashing pic.twitter.com/yY47DcMLod
— prathamesh (@KPrathamesh1989) October 15, 2018
#CleanHands Count For Safety & they are a Recipe for #GoodHealth!
This #GlobalHandwashingDay, recognize the need for clean hands, which keeps us healthy, strong and disease-free! #NHSHospital #Jalandhar pic.twitter.com/6dk4RZvEz6
— NHS Hospital (@NHSHospital) October 15, 2018
Interactive session organised with SHG members to motivate them for actively participating in Global Handwashing Day, 2018. #ZSBP @swachhbharat @Swachhjhar pic.twitter.com/QtpZXzz1Pz
— Swachh_Giridih (@swachhgiridih) October 14, 2018
Happy #GlobalHandwashingDay. pic.twitter.com/jyGgQzHgy7
— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) October 15, 2018
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.