Commemoration of Global Handwashing Day 2022

Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing and triggering lasting change from the policy-level to community-driven action as to prevent infectious diseases and save lives. It took first time on October 15, 2008, the date appointed by UN General Assembly in accordance with year 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation. From that date onwards, it is commemorated annually on October 15 worldwide and it is an opportunity to encourage public and healthcare workers to wash their hands at critical times.

Global Handwashing Day is a campaign to motivate and mobilize million around the world to wash their hands with soap and water. The campaign is dedicated to raise awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.

 The three main aims of the Global Handwashing Day are to create a culture of handwashing with soap and water in all societies, to create awareness of the state of handwashing in each country and to inform the people about the benefits of the handwashing with soap. Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies and individuals around the globe. Until COVID-19 happened, handwashing and its importance in helping prevent the spread of diseases is something that most of people in the community probably never gave much thought to. But the global pandemic has really shone a light on the importance of handwashing, meaning this day now carries extra relevance, even though it has been around since 2008.

Hand hygiene can help reduce the transmission of a range of diseases including diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections, outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS, hepatitis E, and COVID-19, negligible tropical diseases and health care associated infections. Handwashing also benefits beyond disease reduction, such as reduced rates of school absenteeism and in the midst of pandemic, encouraging older children to perform handwashing in school was very important to school reopening strategies and to prevent school closers.

This year’s theme for Global Handwashing Day is Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene. It is very timely in the era of increasing trend of multidrug resistant and pandrug resistant microorganisms in healthcare as well as community settings.

It is our duty and responsibility to unite, talk and work together on handwashing for high quality safe care everywhere on this advocacy day with the intention of improving the awareness among all. We can celebrate Global Handwashing Day through posting on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, getting involved in exhibiting handwashing posters and fliers throughout the community’s public spaces such as parks and schools, using web banners or newsletters and by being role models of practicing hand washing in all relevant occasions.

There is no doubt that the majority of members have already planned and arranged programmes in commemorating this advocacy day at different scales in the form of educational activities such as demonstrations of handwashing, hands on experience, handwashing step dances, dramas, “ viridu”,presentations etc. considering the availability of resources.

Our energetic members are kindly requested to send the details including photographs of the programmes arranged to commemorate the Global Handwashing Day to be published in our web site.

Thank you

Dr. Geethika Patabendige