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Global Handwashing Day is October 15th

If you've read my blog before, then you may recall that I've brought up the important issue of washing one's hands more than once. Many of us are not diligent enough in this area, and it may be, in part, because we take for granted our unlimited access to clean, running water and soap.

Unfortunately, millions of people around the world are not so lucky. Nearly 2 million children under the age of five die each year due to illnesses that could have easily been prevented if families had access to clean soap and water as well as easily understandable information on how careful handwashing can prevent the spread of disease.

Global Handwashing Day, celebrated on October 15th of each year, is a global advocacy day created by a public-private partnership "dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives."

According to the website, "[t]he first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since 2008, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands. . . The 2016 Global Handwashing Day theme is 'Make Handwashing a Habit!' For handwashing to be effective it must be practiced consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasizes the importance of handwashing as a ritual behavior for long-term sustainability."

Visit the Global Handwashing Day website to learn how you can create your own local handwashing educational event, to learn about other events from around the globe, or to download a social media toolkit for spreading the word online.


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