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EVENTS - 2014

Global Handwashing Day, 15 October 2014


Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilise millions around the world to wash their hands with soap to reduce childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases. It takes place on October 15 of each year. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as the most effective and inexpensive way to reduce the spread of disease. According to research, turning handwashing with soap into an ingrained habit at critical times (after using the toilet or playing with animals, before eating or handling food, before feeding babies, after sneezing) saves lives more than a single vaccine or medical intervention – cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by a quarter.

GHD was initiated by the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) at the annual World Water Week 2008. The first Global Handwashing Day took place on October 15 2008 – the date appointed by the UN General Assembly, with 2008 declared “the International Year of Sanitation”.

The benefits of promoting washing of hands with soap are as follows:

  • Improves health of children, which in turn improves their school attendance and academic performance (e.g. Learners spend more time learning and less time sick).

  • Improves Women`s productive capacity, as they are able to spend less time caring for the sick and instead participating more in livelihood activities.

  • Improves workers’ economic productive capacity, as the workers` downtime due to ill‐health from communicable diseases is reduced.

  • Reduces government expenditure on health (When less people contract communicable diseases, the money that government uses to provide free vaccines/medication can be used to create jobs for the poor).

Beside school children who are the primary focus of the campaign, anyone can be an ambassador for handwashing with soap. Lets spread the message and “Save Lives”


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