Today is Global Handwashing Day

TCIG Press Release:

Each year on October 15th, Global Handwashing Day highlights the importance of handwashing with soap and water at home, in the community and around the world. It is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap and “running” water as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 

The theme for Global Hand Washing Day 2020 is “HAND HYGIENE FOR ALL,”an important reminder that we must include everyone when addressing handwashing irregularities. Inequalities in handwashing facilities and effective handwashing promotion programs, can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “the COVID-19 pandemic provides an important reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy, is also one of the simplest – handwashing with soap and water. Global Hand Washing Day also seeks to raise awareness of making soap and water available globally, especially in public places such as: schools and health care facilities. It also calls for institutions and individuals to improve hand hygiene efforts in the COVID-19 response that can outlast the pandemic and ensure continued access to clean water and soap. Keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as the cold or the flu.

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick e.g. COVID-19 disease.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into food and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

To help beat the COVID-19 virus and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, handwashing with soap and water must be a priority now and in the future. Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy.

It is important to make handwashing into a habit.  The Global Handwashing Day helps raise awareness of the importance of washing with soap and water, but it also makes it fun for children to get involved. Proper hygiene requires that individuals know the importance of good hygiene and develop the habits to carry it out.

As we approach the flu season let us make every effort to encourage the healthy behavior of washing our hands after using the toilet, after coughing, blowing our nose and before serving or handling food or eating.

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