Did you know that a simple act of washing your hands with soap and water can reduce respiratory and intestinal diseases by 25-50% respectively? This means, by using soap and water to wash our hands we can reduce the mortality rate caused by respiratory diseases by 25%. Consequently, deaths from diarrheal diseases can reduce by 50%.
As the world celebrates the Global Handwashing Day in the advent of the Coronavirus, the case for hand washing with soap and water is compelling. Celebrated on 15th October every year, the day has been commemorated every year since 2008.
Why the World Global Hand Washing Day?
It is therefore a critical day in the global calendar whose objective is to encourage people to wash their hands. As a result, it encourages us to wash hands with soap and water at critical moments.
This year’s theme is “Hand Hygiene for All.” The theme seeks to highlight the importance of handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging people to join in handwashing to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The aims of the Global Handwashing day are
- Foster and support a general culture of handwashing with soap in all societies
- Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country
- Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap
Critical times we should wash your hands
Keeping our hands clean is a major step we should make to avoid spreading germs and getting sick. Therefore, washing hands saves life and these are some of the critical times we should wash our hands as outlined by UNICEF.
- After using the toilet
- Before and after eating
- After changing babies’ diapers or helping children use the toilet
In the advent of COVID-19, washing our hands with soap and water is vital and lifesaving. To cope with the pandemic, other times we are to wash our hands with soap and water have arisen. They include:
- After visiting a public space such as when using public transportation.
- After touching surfaces and objects such as money.
Why Wash hands with soap and water
Washing our hands with soap and water saves lives and as illustrated by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) The organization puts across a valid case for washing hands with soap and water through statistics in a convincing way.
- Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40%
- Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
- Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
- Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%
Additionally, CDC goes further to explain that about 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. These are the top two killers of young children around the world. By washing hands with soap and water, we reduce the number of young children who get sick with diarrhea by a third. Moreover, by this simple act, 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia could be protected.
Prevention from spread of coronavirus is also a major reason why we should wash our hands with soap and water. Generally, it is better to use liquid soap than a bar soap, particularly at work or in a public place. However, bar soap is better than no soap. There are various ways in which we should wash our hands as outlined here by MYDAWA. In case you don’t have access to soap and water especially when travelling you can always use a sanitizer. These products are available at an affordable price through MYDAWA.
In conclusion, the impact being created by the Global Handwashing Day cannot be underestimated. Through this day, it is evident that by washing hands with water and soap we can prevent many diseases. Most importantly, we can prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Most importantly, this year’s theme challenges us to make handwashing a daily routine for a healthy future.
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