Global Handwashing Day: Everything you need to know about this day

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Hand-washing with soap protects health and saves lives.

Hands are a natural breeding ground for germs, in fact, they are one of the principal carriers of disease-causing germs. Nearly 80% of infections are spread by hand, so encouraging good hand hygiene behaviors is an effective way to stop germs from spreading.

15 October - Global Hand-washing Day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand-washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases.

Even though handwashing is part of our daily routine, we quite often don't get it right. Did you know that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that one should spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing his or her hands with soap?

ALSO READ, 6 Hand Washing Steps Parents Should Encourage Their Kid To Practice

As part of the Global Hand Washing Day campaign, we are on a mission to spread awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap, and drive habit change especially among young children. 

Global Handwashing Day: History


The day was first observed in 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden. The UN General Assembly later marked October 15 as the day to observe Global Handwashing Day. Interestingly, the year 2008 was also the International Year of Sanitation.

To properly address the benefits of having clean hands and fostering healthy habits related to hand sanitization within different societies of the world, the day is marked with a theme for each year. For 2020 it was, 'Hand Hygiene for all'.

Since our hands are one of the primary ways in which we interact with the world, as per reports, their proper cleaning and washing can reduce risks of diseases, particularly respiratory and intestinal, by 20%-25%. As Gandhi Ji once said, cleanliness is next to godliness, surely, a healthy and clean body is our way of achieving godliness within ourselves and the beginning of this endeavor starts with clean hands.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2021: Seconds save lives – clean your hands!


If there is one thing we have learned from the COVID-19 era, it is, that personal hygiene is of the utmost importance for our health. From wearing layers of face masks almost 24x7 to carrying bottles of hand sanitizers, these habits which were generally considered to be a nuance of everyday life have become our daily routine.

Regular hand washing was and is still considered to be the primary defence technique against coronavirus. Even before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the benefits of having clean hands and proper washing was widely publicized by governments and health agencies across the globe.

Global Handwashing Day 2020 Infographic: Hand Hygiene for All


This year's Global Handwashing Day theme reminds us that we must work toward universal access and practice of handwashing with soap for now and for a healthy future. Read this infographic, produced by the Global Handwashing Partnership, to learn more about the theme and what you can do for Global Handwashing Day.
Global Handwashing Day 2020: Hand Hygiene for All (Infographic)


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