Home PH Important Day Global Handwashing Day 2021: Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.

Global Handwashing Day 2021: Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.

by Public Health Update


Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day celebrated every year on October 15th to advocate for handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. It was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.



The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.”

The unprecedented nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the critical role hand hygiene plays in disease transmission. Therefore, this year’s theme is a call to action which asks us to leverage experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to address the historic neglect of hand hygiene investments, policies, and programs once and for all. As we enter a new normal beyond COVID-19, the future state of hygiene is in our hands. A lot has been learned about promoting hand hygiene at scale, but much work is needed for the current momentum to be sustained.

Key points

  • Handwashing with soap is an easy, effective, affordable do-it-yourself practice that prevents infections and saves lives.
  • Handwashing with soap is easy.
  • Handwashing with soap is effective.
  • Handwashing with soap is affordable.
Benefits of hand hygiene

Handwashing with soap can reduce the transmission of a range of diseases:

  • Hand washing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30%.
  • Hand washing can reduce acute respiratory infections by up to 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.

Key advocacy and action messages

  • Handwashing is key to reducing the burden of many diseases which pose chronic challenges to population health and development.
  • Handwashing contributes to mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 and will remain an essential prevention measure while vaccines are being rolled out.
  • Handwashing is a ‘first-line’ defense in preventing outbreaks and reducing the toll of both current and future pandemics.
  • Handwashing rates have increased during the pandemic and now need to be sustained and supported.
  • Handwashing practices have not increased equally, and people living in fragile settings or LMIC countries have continued to face barriers to handwashing during the pandemic.
  • Increases in handwashing with soap have been driven by fear during the early stage of the pandemic, but fear-based changes are likely to be short-lived. There is therefore a need to use additional motives.
  • There is now a window of opportunity to sustain behavior change by addressing a broader array of behavioral determinants.
  • Handwashing promotion initiatives should assess all factors that may influence behavior and design programs which focus on addressing context-specific motivations, opportunities or barriers and creating an enabling physical and social environment for handwashing to take place.
  • When communicating about handwashing use behavioral theory, draw attention to new norms, and emphasize that it is a behavior that is done to protect others as well as yourself.

Source of info: https://globalhandwashing.org

#GlobalHandwashingDay #OurFutureAtHand

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