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Global Handwashing Day

by the editorial team Published on 14 October 2009

There’s a “day” for everything these days! And, just in case you’ve forgotten the next special date is October 15th. It’s Global Handwashing Day. Yes, you read that right.

Initiated in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies and individuals around the globe.

A recent Global Hygiene survey found that over 60% of us don’t know that washing hands can prevent flu. And, although people around the world wash their hands with water, not enough wash their hands with soap at the critical occasions. In these days where swine flu is omnipresent you’d think we’d me more hygiene-conscious.

More hand washing, and in particular more hand washing with soap, means lower rates of infectious disease: Clean Hands Save Lives!

In support of Global Handwashing Day, Baylis & Harding are donating 10p for every bottle of Baylis & Harding handwash sold in ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco on Thursday October 15th. Their yummy handwash is only £1.99 for 500ml too. The money goes to towards raising awareness of basic hygiene in developing countries.

Of the approximately 120 million children born in the developing world each year, half will live in households without access to improved sanitation, at grave risk to their survival and development.

Poor hygiene and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to about 88% of deaths in the under-fives each year. According to Global Handwashing Day, a vast change in hand washing behaviour is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-thirds by 2015.

It’s critical here too. If you want to stay healthy as cold and flu season rolls in, wash your hands!

Step-by-step guide to washing your hands:

  • Wet hands with water

  • Apply enough to soap to lather your hands

  • Rub hands together palm to palm

  • Rub your palm over the back of your hand and interlace your fingers - repeat on other hand

  • Clasp wrists and rotate

  • With your hands palm to palm, interlace your fingers to clean in-between

  • Clean the backs of your fingers and nails by rubbing them into the opposite palm

  • Clasp around your thumb to clean thoroughly in a rotating motion

  • Rotate your fingertips in your palms

  • Pay special attention to your nails - long nails can trap dirt beneath

  • Rinse hands thoroughly with clean water

  • Dry well with a clean towel (or hand drier)

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