Global Handwashing Day 2020: Date, Theme, and Health Impacts

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Global Handwashing Day 2020 

Global Handwashing Day is observed on October 15 every year to raise global awareness on the importance of hand-washing with soap and water. Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.

History Of Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day was initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) in August 2008 at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The first Global Handwashing Day took place on 15 October 2008. The date was appointed by the UN General Assembly. The year 2008 was also the International Year of Sanitation.

Global Handwashing Day 2020 theme

The Global Handwashing Day 2020 theme is ‘Hand Hygiene for All’, a call to action to make hand hygiene a reality for all. This theme aligns with the new Hand Hygiene for All Initiative led by the WHO and UNICEF.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role hand hygiene plays in disease transmission. The theme reminds us of the need to take immediate action on hand hygiene across all public and private settings to respond and control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hand hygiene must become everybody’s business. It also reminds us of the need to build on the current momentum to make hand hygiene a mainstay in public health interventions beyond the pandemic and create a culture of hand hygiene. This fact sheet provides an overview of what this year’s theme means for handwashing advocacy and programming.

How Germs Spread

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
Touch a contaminated surface or objects
Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

Key Times to Wash Hands

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage

Hand hygiene impacts health and COVID-19

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

  • Handwashing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30% to 48%.
  • Handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by 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.

Handwashing with soap can help reduce the transmission of a range of diseases: Handwashing is also key in the fight against COVID-19. Handwashing with soap destroys the outer membrane of the virus and thereby inactivates it. One study found that regular handwashing with soap can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by 36%

Global Handwashing Day Quotes & Slogan

“Let us avoid all diseases by thoroughly washing our hands.”

“Only a proper handwash can kill all unwanted bacteria.”

“Wash your hands as and when you can. You will always stay protected from diseases.”

“On this global handwash day, Cover the germ, wash your hands.”

“Wash your hands, spread the word and stop the germs, we don’t need to spread germs anymore.”

“Clean hands are gatekeepers of wellbeing. You should be careful about it.”

“Don’t spread germs wash your hands, wash after you flush, and wash before you eat.”

“Clean hands drive everything and everyone. Clean hands keep germs from spreading.”

“Clean hands, sound heart. Clean well so you can eat well.”

References:  cdc.govglobalhandwashing



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