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Global Handwashing Day 2020: Hand Hygiene for All

by Public Health Update

Global Handwashing Day is observed every year on October 15. The day serves as a platform to raise global awareness on the importance of hand-washing with soap. The day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008 to help communities, advocates, and leaders spread the word about handwashing with soap.

Handwashing is the most simple and effective way of preventing illness and the spreading of germs.

Theme

This year’s theme reminds us that we must work toward universal access and practice of handwashing with soap for now and for a healthy future.

The COVID-19 pandemic provides a stark reminder that hand-washing is one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of any virus and ensure better health outcomes overall. This year’s Global Handwashing Day theme is Hand Hygiene for All, calling for all of society to achieve universal hand hygiene now and for the future.

Facts

  • Hand hygiene impacts health and COVID-19.
  • Handwashing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30% to 48%.
  • Handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by 20%.
  • Handwashing plays an important role in reducing the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS and hepatitis E.
  • Hand hygiene is protective against healthcare-associated infections and reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Hand hygiene may contribute to the reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
  • Handwashing with soap can help reduce the transmission of a range of diseases: Handwashing is also key in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Handwashing with soap destroys the outer membrane of the virus and thereby inactivates it.
  • One study found that regular handwashing with soap can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by 36%.

‘Hand Hygiene for All’ in the COVID-19 response

Making hand hygiene available and accessible for all requires a multi-faceted, society-wide approach. First, this means an urgent need for improvement in access to sustainable hand hygiene services (handwashing facilities, regular water supply, soap or alcohol based handrub [ABHR]). Second, behavior change interventions should address the full range of drivers to support optimal hand hygiene behavior. And finally, components such as policy, coordination, regulation and financing which underpin hand hygiene services and behavior change need to be strengthened.

Hand Hygiene for All Global Initiative

A call to action for all of society to achieve universal hand hygiene and stop the spread of COVID-19

The Hand Hygiene for All Global Initiative aims to implement WHO’s global recommendations on hand hygiene to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic and work to ensure lasting infrastructure and behavior.

This WHO and UNICEF-led initiative calls for countries to lay out comprehensive roadmaps that bridge together national COVID-19 preparedness and response plans with mid- and long-term national development plans to ensure hand hygiene is a mainstay beyond the pandemic, as part of infection prevention and control (IPC) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) efforts.

It also proposes a framework for coordination and collaboration among global and regional partners, with the primary aim of supporting and growing country-led efforts and investments.

The Global Initiative is designed around three stages: Responding to the immediate pandemic, Rebuilding infrastructure and services, and Reimagining hand hygiene in society.

Each stage has four core dimensions: securing political leadership to embed a culture of hand hygiene, strengthening the institutional and policy environment to drive progress, ensuring the availability of hand hygiene stations, alcohol-based hand rubs and soap and water where they are needed, and drawing on evidence-based behaviour change approaches to encourage sustained hand hygiene practices.

The Global Initiative is working with a number of partners to further progress in specific settings, such as health care facilities (including primary and long-term settings), schools and child-care centres, workplaces, transport hubs, households, institutions and places of worship. In health care, it builds upon and supports existing programmes such as the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global campaign and the WASH in health care facilities initiatives.

Source of info: UN, Global Hand Washing Org, WHO, UNICEF


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Thanks for visiting us.
Disclaimer: The resources, documents, guidelines, and information on this blog have been collected from various sources and are intended for informational purposes only. Information published on or through this website and affiliated social media channels does not represent the intention, plan, or strategies of an organization that the initiator is associated with in a professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly indicated.
If you have any complaints, information, or suggestions about the content published on Public Health Update, please feel free to contact us at blog.publichealthupdate@gmail.com.
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