Happy Global Hand washing Day!

15.10.2012 - 15:22

On 15 October every year the world celebrates the Global Hand washing Day (GHD).

This year is special because GHD marks its fifth anniversary. Originally developed for children and schools, today the Global Hand washing day is celebrated by more than 200 million people in over 100 countries around the world.

The basic idea of this day is to raise awareness about the importance of hand washing with soap as the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections.

UNICEF informed that even though the number of children dying because of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene has decreased significantly in the past five years, it remains quite high.

According to recent data, more than 3.5 million children under five in developing countries die every year from diarrhoea and pneumonia-related diseases, while 2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to adequate sanitation and many people do not wash their hands at critical times.

The Global Hand washing Day was initiated in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap (PPPHW), a coalition of international stakeholders whose focus is hand washing and child health. The organisation provides platform for cooperation of 11 member organisation, including UNICEF, USAID, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

The PPPHW mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment, and trigger action on the critical issue of hand washing with soap at local, national, and international levels.

As part of the global hand washing campaign, the United Nations Children’s Fund released a video for which it claims that can convince anyone to wash their hands. In addition, there is also an interactive World Wash Up online game and a guide on proper way to wash your hands to be found here.