By Hope Orivri
It is Global Hand Hygiene Day, which is marked annually on October 15.
The 2020 theme for global handwashing ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ underscores the importance of washing our hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
Studies have proven that proper handwashing with water and soap is the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of a virus.
For effective handwashing, the steps must include wetting your hands with water, applying soap, making a lather and washing both hands giving attention to the tips of your fingers, the back of your hands and in-between the fingers.
Proper handwashing should last for at least 15 seconds and you can just hum a ‘happy birthday to you’ song to yourself as you wash. Then, rinse your hands with dry.
Beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, we must continue with the handwashing habit.
This can help keep children between ages 0 and 5 safe from endemic diseases such as dysentery, cholera and diarrhoea.
To get it right, the global handwashing organisation has raised highlights that handwashing facilities must be available and accessible in all homes, school premises, health facilities, workplaces and public spaces.
Handwashing for all, according to the organisation, should mean maintaining handwashing practice and strengthening handwashing systems, while handwashing campaign must be maintained through partnerships.
Increasing investments to sustain hand hygiene targets is important, while placing handwashing at the heart of national strategies, plans and budgets is critical too.
A key consideration is how to ensure sustainable strategies for handwashing practice among local communities, designing plans that works for them.
Take action today and support a community. We will be glad to begin the journey with you through participatory communication among communities.
Hope Orivri is a communication specialist, with primary interest in communication for human and environmental development.