Global Handwashing Day

15 October 2020 –

Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhoeal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practised and difficult to promote. The challenge is to transform handwashing with soap from an abstract good idea into an automatic behaviour performed in homes, schools, and communities worldwide. Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhoea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter. A vast change in handwashing behaviour is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-thirds by 2019.

Global Handwashing Day is observed every year on 15th October every year in an effort to raise awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention. As a campaign, it aims to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap.