Thursday, October 15, 2015

Raise a Hand for Hygiene!

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated on October 15, 2015. Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.

GHD was created at the annual World Water Week 2008, which was held in Stockholm from August 17 to 23 and initiated by the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing. The first Global Handwashing Day took place on October 15, 2008, the date appointed by the UN General Assembly in accordance with year 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.

The campaign was initiated to reduce childhood mortality rates related respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioral changes - hand washing with soap. This text has been taken from
Children as actors for change on Global Handwashing Day 
October 15th marks the annual Global Handwashing Day, aimed at increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases. Building on a hugely successful inaugural Global Handwashing Day in 2008 – in which over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries, this year it is anticipated that millions of children across five continents will celebrate Global Handwashing Day again.
Around the world, children, teachers, parents, celebrities, and government officials plan to mobilize and motivate millions to lather up in order to reduce life-threatening diseases, such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.
Let’s keep the EVERYONE around the world healthy by becoming Champion Handwashers!
Children suffer disproportionately from diarrheal diseases – with more than 3.5 million children under five dying every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related diseases. The simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea rates among children under five by almost 50 per cent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.
Under the slogan “Clean hands save lives”, the driving theme for Global Handwashing Day is children and schools. Children acting as agents of change, taking the good practices of hygiene learned at school back into their homes and communities. The active participation and involvement of children, along with culturally sensitive community-based interventions aim at ensuring sustained behavioral change.

Raise a Hand for Change on October 15
This year’s theme for Global Handwashing Day is “Raise a hand for hygiene”!
This theme is action-oriented and can be used particularly well for advocacy purposes. For instance, the act of raising a hand is one of affiliation. You can and should identify yourself as a hygieBlue Raise a Handne champion. This can help create a strong social norm of good hygiene in a school, community, or region. Likewise, when people raise a hand, they can also be counted. In terms of handwashing, this is a reminder that it is possible for governments to count how many people wash their hands and have access to hygiene facilities in homes, schools, and healthcare facilities. Governments must measure hygiene indicators to know where resources should be concentrated. Global Handwashing Day is a good opportunity to ask governments to fulfill this important role. We can also raise a hand to draw attention to the need for change, from parents’ associations raising a hand to ask for a better school hygiene policy to celebrities raising a hand to ask politicians to fund hygiene programs.

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