The global community on Monday commemorated the 2018 Global Handwashing Day (GHD) under the theme focusing on the links between handwashing and health. GHD is commemorated every October 15 and is aimed at creating awareness and mobilizing people around the globe to improve handwashing habits as a key factor in disease prevention and public health promotion.
Handwashing: the simple act of washing hands is said to be an important part of keeping food safe, preventing diseases, and helping children grow strong. Handwashing with soap and at critical times is an effective and proven way of preventing infections to ensure a healthy living.
Research has shown that regular handwashing with soap, after using the toilet or before coming in contact with food, can dramatically reduce mortality rates resulting from respiratory and intestinal diseases by 25 % and 50%, respectively. Regular handwashing also help prevent the spread of infections such as Influenza and Ebola.
Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is an initiative of the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) and was initiated in 2008 to promote and support a general culture of handwashing in all societies. The first GHD took place on 15th October, 2008 and was approved by the United Nations General Assembly.
Handwashing with soap is said to be “an easy, effective, affordable, do-it-yourself” way of preventing infections and saving lives using few available resources. Thus, governments, CSO, private sector and other stakeholders must come together to promote handwashing with soap – through advocacy, policy development and projects implementation towards achieving a healthy and prosperous society.
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