The Global Handwashing Day is annually observed across the world on October 15 to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap and water as a way to prevent disease.
- 15th October 2023 marks the observance of 16th Global Handwashing Day.
The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2023 is “Clean Hands Are Within Reach.”
- The theme emphasizes the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to the resources and knowledge they need to wash their hands regularly.
i.Global Handwashing Day was initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) in August 2008 at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.
ii.The first Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on 15th October, 2008.
Global Handwashing Partnership:
The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing encourages people around the world to make handwashing a habit.
- It is supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
i.Washing the hands with soap and water is one of the simplest and the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs.
ii.It can help prevent the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and cholera.
iii.Handwashing is especially important for children, who are at higher risk of getting sick from these diseases.
iv.The day ultimately aims to inculcate the habit of washing hands with water and soap among all the people.
The Role of Education:
i.Education plays an important role in promoting hand hygiene. Schools often integrate handwashing into their curriculum to ensure that children grow up with good hygiene practices.
ii.When children learn the importance of handwashing from a young age, they are more likely to continue practicing it throughout their lives, which can have a significant impact on public health.
i.In May 2023, World Health Organization (WHO) released its first-ever research agenda on hand hygiene in the name ‘WHO research agenda for hand hygiene in health care 2023–2030’
ii.The agenda identifies 21 highest research priorities in six key areas such as
- System change
- Training and education
- Evaluation and feedback
- Reminders and communication
- Institutional safety climate
- Impact of hand hygiene improvement on health care-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)