Highlighting the “H”: on Global Handwashing Day
Now in its fourth year, Global Handwashing Day brings attention to the often forgotten “H” in WASH, hygiene. When something as simple as handwashing with soap can help reduce diarrhea rates among children under five by almost 50 percent, it is imperative that this simple practice is not overlooked.
About 34 percent of people wash their hands with soap at critical moments – i.e. before handling food and after using the toilet. The key to increasing the practice of handwashing with soap is to promote behavioral change through motivation, information and education.
There are a variety of ways to increase awareness about the importance of handwashing, including high-profile national media campaigns, peer-to-peer education, hygiene lessons for school children and encouraging children to bring home the lessons they have learned at school to their families and communities.
It is never too late to teach children that handwashing is important. H2O for Life-besides providing water projects and toilets to schools, also focuses on handwashing and hygiene education.
What can you do to raise awareness and change behaviors in your family and school? What can you do to help a school around the world have access to a handwashing facility? Choose a school from our list, and take action today!