Global Hand Washing Day

Posted on October 14, 2016

Global Hand Washing Day celebrated on 15 October

Wash your hands at least 5 times a day

Global Hand Washing Day is being celebrated worldwide on 15 October to increase awareness of the importance of regularly washing your hands.

Prof Lise Korsten, Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP) says for hand washing to be effective it must be practiced consistently at regular key times, at least five times a day. "Hands should be washed early in the morning, before and after handling fruit, before and after greeting people, when handling pets or after being in contact with any other human contact surface where an infectious disease can be picked up."

The theme for the 2016 Global Hand Washing Day, 'Make hand washing a Habit!',  emphasises the importance of hand washing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability.

Prof Korsten says that more than seven per cent of deaths in South Africa can be attributed to poor sanitation, personal  hygiene that is not in place and ineffective hand washing, and 42 per cent of food-borne diseases can be transmitted through hands not washed properly. "Bacteria can survive on hands for days and cause illness if hands are not washed. 84 per cent of reported diarrhoea cases are due to poor sanitation and in South Africa young children suffer most in the reported fatal diarrhoeal cases. Hands that are regularly washed and that are kept clean, with short and clean nails are key to a healthy lifestyle"

Global Hand Washing Day was first celebrated in 2008, when more than 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 Hand Washing Day to spread the word about hand washing, build sinks and taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands.  Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations for Global Hand Washing Day in over 100 countries around the world.

Click on the video link for more information or contact Prof Lise Korsten at [email protected] 

Published by Martie Meyer

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