Get ready to lather up and join the worldwide celebration of Global Handwashing Day (GHD)!
This annual event, observed on October 15, is all about spreading the word on the importance of hand hygiene and making a lasting impact on how we wash our hands. GHD is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of hand hygiene and triggering lasting change from the policy level to community-driven action. This year's theme explores hand hygiene at a systems level, emphasizing that clean hands are within reach when we work together to create an enabling environment that supports hand hygiene access and practice across various settings.
Why should we care about hand hygiene?
Well, clean hands are superhero-level defenders against a host of nasty diseases. Hand hygiene is not just a simple act of washing hands; it's a powerful tool with numerous benefits:
Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrheal diseases by an impressive 30%. This simple act can spare countless individuals from the misery of diarrhea, particularly in vulnerable communities.
Respiratory Infection Prevention:
Handwashing with soap can also reduce acute respiratory infections by up to 20%. As respiratory infections, including the flu and common cold, are highly contagious, clean hands can be our first line of defense.
Hand hygiene plays a pivotal role in reducing the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS, hepatitis E, and even COVID-19. It's a fundamental tool in managing epidemics and safeguarding public health.
Proper hand hygiene is protective against healthcare-associated infections, preventing the spread of harmful germs in healthcare settings, where vulnerable patients are at risk.
Hand hygiene contributes significantly to reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. By preventing infections, we reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics, a key driver of resistance.
Neglected Tropical Diseases:
Hand hygiene may also contribute to the reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases, which affect some of the most marginalized communities globally.
Beyond disease reduction, proper hand hygiene has far-reaching benefits. It's linked to reduced rates of school absenteeism, as healthier children are more likely to attend school regularly. Moreover, it improves overall wellbeing, dignity, and productivity, fostering healthier and more prosperous communities.
At Diversey, We GO beyond CLEAN to protect health and well being, understanding the profound impact that hand hygiene can have on individuals and communities. That's why 10 years ago we launched programs like Soap For Hope™ which upcycle discarded soap from hotels and transform it into new soap bars for distribution to communities in need, promoting hygiene education along the way.
Additionally, we collaborate in initiatives like Hand Washing Angels, which focuses on educating and empowering individuals, especially in schools and healthcare settings, to maintain proper hand hygiene practices. By combining our expertise with these programs and initiatives, we're not only fighting disease but also contributing to the overall health, wellbeing, and prosperity of communities worldwide. Together, we're making a tangible difference, one clean hand at a time.
On this Global Handwashing Day, let's roll up our sleeves, lather up, and spread the word about the power of hand hygiene. Together, we can make a difference and create a healthier, happier world while taking care of what is precious to us.