Global Handwashing Day, held annually on October 15, is a worldwide celebration of handwashing with soap that aims to: foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap; shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country; and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.
The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2013 is:The power is in your hands. This theme emphasizes that:
- Everyone can improve their own health by washing hands with soap, especially after using the restroom and before touching food.
- Teachers, parents, health care professionals and others can improve the health of children and adults in their communities by promoting handwashing with soap at critical times.
- Governments, not-for-profit organizations, the private sector, and donors can promote and invest in handwashing programs to improve health on a large scale.
Hand washing with soap is the single most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, which together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually. According to the official site, turning hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit was projected to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.
Get involved by spreading the handwashing importance around your environement. Start with printing this poster to remind you when to wash hands with soap.
Wash hands with soap and clean water:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal or animal waste
- After touching garbage
- Before and after treating a cut or wound