Today is Global Handwashing Day – 15 October 2018
This is what the official website tells us –
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.
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. (1)
Global Handwashing Day is designed to:
- Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap
- Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world
- Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap
2008 – First Global Handwashing Day
120 million children washed their hands in over 70 countries
Community and national leaders have since used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, to demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands.
200 million people each year are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries
Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by governments, international institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs, private companies and individuals.
2018 Global Handwashing Day theme
Clean Hands – a recipe for health
The focus is on links between handwashing and food, including food hygiene and nutrition.
Handwashing at critical times, especially before cooking, eating or feeding others is one of the most important ways to keep food clean and safe, prevent diseases and help children grow strong.
Connecting handwashing to an existing habit, like a meal is a great way to form proper handwashing habits.
This year’s theme reminds us to make handwashing a part of every meal (2)
Handwashing Saves Lives
Although people around the world clean their hands with water, few use soap to wash their hands because it is less accessible in developing countries.
Even if soap is available, it might be reserved primarily for laundry and bathing instead of handwashing.
Handwashing is simple and inexpensive. It can cut the number of young children who get sick because washing hands with soap reduces illness and the spread of germs much more effectively than water alone.
1.4 million children under age 5 die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia
Handwashing with soap could prevent 1 in 10 episodes of diarrheal illnesses
What if we use the following handout taken from the Simple Living Global – Back to Basics Program and made it part of our Foundation, so it becomes our normal standard – no big deal
The key is to practice being present when you do this simple task
This means make sure your mind is – focused on the job in hand
Check you have some soap ready to use near the sink
Have a towel or tissue paper nearby for drying your hands
Stand in front of the sink and adjust your feet to feel stable
Relax your shoulders and just breathe deeply if you feel tension
Check and be sure you are feeling balanced and steady
No rushing please
Pull up your sleeves gently, using your fingertips
Place your fingertips now on the tap and turn on
Check the water temperature and rinse both hands
Turn tap off Gently
Take the soap and put your attention on what you are doing
If your mind wanders off – bring it back to focus on the task
Lather up by rubbing both hands together
Using thumb and middle finger, do circles on each wrist
Using your knuckles, anti-clockwise small circles in each palm
Slip your fingers up and down, in between the fingers of other hand
Make a ball with nails inside the palm – do anticlockwise circles
Using palm, anti-clockwise oval circles on tops of hand and fingers
Time to rinse off soap – turn tap on gently
Using fingertips and moving the hands, rinse away
Shake both your hands to remove excess water
Turn the tap off gently, using thumb and fingertips
Run the middle fingers gently across the wrist
Feel the connection as you repeat this last bit
Take the towel or paper tissue and dab on hands
No need to be hard or rough with this movement
Place the towel back on the rail or dispose tissue
This handwashing business should take less than a minute – no big deal
Skipping this basic hygiene task is not recommended – ever
Always wash your hands after going to the Toilet
Make washing your hands a part of your self-care routine –
Before you prepare or cook food
Anytime they feel dirty
The key is to practice being consciously present – this means your mind is with you when your body is carrying out the task
Keep it Simple
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(1) (n.d). Global Handwashing Day. www.globalhandwashing.org. Retrieved October 10, 2018 from
(2) (n.d). ABOUT Global Handwashing Day. www.globalhandwashing.org. Retrieved October 10, 2018 from