New Delhi: World Health Organization (WHO) states that good hand hygiene is relatively cheap, and a cornerstone of safe and effective health care. It further adds, thoroughly cleaning hands with soap or an alcohol-based hand rub helps prevent a range of diseases, including the biggest killers of under-fives globally: pneumonia and diarrhoea. To stress on the need for handwashing among health care workers and other people around the world, WHO started a global campaign called “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands” in 2009. Now, this campaign is celebrated annually as World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5.
Here are the things to know about the day:
Theme For Hand Hygiene Day 2022
This year, WHO is marking the day with the theme – Unite for safety: clean your hands, with a focus on encouraging people to clean hands at the right times with the right products that will help lead to high quality safer care everywhere.
Calls To Action This Year
WHO calls upon people at all levels to work together to create an environment where clean hands knowledge and behaviour become a part of the culture at the point of care, among healthcare workers even within health care organization.
It also calls upon the patients and the general public to clean their hands frequently and adopt it as a habit.
Importance Of Hand Hygiene
– The leading causes of death in children under-5 years are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea and malaria, all of which can be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions following good like hand hygiene and safe water
– It further states the staggering figures of deaths and adds, in 2019 an estimated 5.2 million children under 5 years died mostly from preventable and treatable causes
– Children aged 1 to 11 months accounted for 1.5 millions of these deaths while children aged 1 to 4 years accounted for 1.3 million deaths
– Newborns (under 28 days) accounted for the remaining 2.4 million deaths
– And an additional 500,000 older children (5 to 9 years) died in 2019
– Half of all under-five deaths in 2019 occurred in just five countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia and Nigeria and India alone accounted for almost a third of all deaths
How Should You Wash Your Hands?
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.