8th Global Handwashing Day
The 8th Global Handwashing day was celebrated all over the world on October 15, 2015. Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Private-Public Partnership for Handwashing in 2008. This was a day of dedication to increase awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap. Safeguard brought this annual celebration simultaneously to three key cities: Manila, Cebu and Davao. I was able to witness its celebration here in Manila, with Tipas Elementary School as this year’s host.
Linis Lusog sa Global Handwashing Day
“Linis Lusog sa Global Handwashing Day” is the local theme for 2015. The theme is essentially focused on proper washing of hands with soap as a cost-effective solution to prevent diseases, including diarrhea and pneumonia. According to World Health Organization, approximately 13 children die because of diarrhea every day, almost 5,000 of which die yearly.
In the Philippines, there is an estimated 37 children under the age of five die from pneumonia per day. Diarrhea and pneumonia continue to be the top causes of child mortality in our country. This year marks the deadline of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the fourth of which is to reduce child mortality.
Cute kiddos lining up to join the Global Handwashing Day in Tipas Elementary School. 🙂
A great idea for communities that have less than favorable supply of water is to make use of tappy-taps. The soap hanging on a sock provides a good measure of savings as opposed to the usual soap dish that keeps water in.
Several activities were held where kids where asked to look for the “germs” in each station designed as bedrooms, playground, library, etc. The awareness this does to the kids can be very valuable as they are made aware that germs, as invisible as they are, are for real, there.
A UV light revealed that germs are indeed there in spite of an appearance of a rather clean hand. A study conducted by P&G showed that disease-causing germs may be found on everyday items like mobile phones, ATMs, kitchen sinks, water bottle and many more.
P&G, through Safeguard, and UNICEF aims to further improve health by implementing the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program in more schools. This will bring hygiene education and facilities to rural areas where the incidence of diseases and the child mortality rate are relatively higher. “Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually to advocate for greater attention and investment in programmes that promote and support the life-saving practice of handwashing with soap. We all have a hand in keeping our families, schools and communities healthy – if only through the simple habit of washing with soap frequently,” shares UNICEF WASH Chief Louise Maule.
Bottomline, health starts with proper hygiene. As we celebrated Global Handwashing Day, we raised our hands for hygiene! Even as I consider myself cautious about these things, I have been reminded all the more how proper is essential in our daily living. Let’s protect our family from disease causing germs by making sure we wash our hands for hygiene, which leads to staying healthy. 🙂