Every October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
This year’s theme “Clean Hands for All” follows the push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development Agenda. Global Handwashing Day is all about promoting handwashing with soap. However, it is easy to forget that for many people handwashing with soap is not easy to practice. Inequalities in handwashing facilities and effective handwashing promotion programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes. This year’s theme ‘Clean Hands for All’ draws attention to these handwashing inequalities.
Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
This year we join The Neo Child initiative (TNCI) (Formerly, The Nigerian Child initiative) in an attempt to break the World Record for the largest hand hygiene lesson held on the Global Handwashing Day (Oct 15th) at the Ejigbo Model Nur/Pry School Complex, Ejigbo, Lagos. The event aims to involve at least 4,500 students in the World Record Attempt.
This is part of a continued effort to promote the health and well-being of children in Nigeria. TNCI embarked on a campaign tagged ‘WASHED-UP’. WASHED-UP (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Education against Diarrhoea, Undernutrition and Pneumonia) with aim to help children prevent diseases by encouraging the practice of proper handwashing and personal hygiene among young children, especially in schools through health talks and enlightening teachers about Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infection Control through teacher trainings.
Handwashing with soap and water is an easy, effective, affordable do-it-yourself practice that prevents infections and saves lives. Hand washing is important because it removes germs that can cause diseases from the hands and in doing so helps prevent the spread of those diseases. When regularly practiced at key times, handwashing can dramatically reduce the risk of diseases like diarrhea & pneumonia and prevent the spread of other infections, including influenza and Ebola.
When to wash hands
Handwashing with soap and water should be practiced regularly at key times to prevent the spread of germs, and infectious diseases;
- Before eating, preparing food or feeding others
- After using the latrine or toilet
- After cleaning your child’s bottom
- After taking care of someone ill with diarrhea
- When you return home from the day’s activities
- After blowing your nose
- After handling animals
- You should also wash your hands whenever you come in contact with dirt, grease, blood, and other bodily fluids.
Process/ technique of handwashing
A lot of the time, people believe splashing your hands under a stream of clean water is enough to do the job of cleaning your hands, but this is not entirely true.
When not done carefully, germs on fingertips, thumbs and palms, and between fingers are often missed. To get hands that are sufficiently clean and free of germs, you should:
- Rinse your hands under clean water to get rid of surface dirt and oils.
- Dispense soap on your palm or cupped hand.
- Rub your hands together and the back of your hands vigorously until it lathers and foams for at least 30 seconds
- Wash between your fingers
- Wash the base of your thumbs and fingers
- Wash your fingernails and wrists thoroughly
- Rinse off the lather and soap with clean water and wipe your hands on a clean towel.