Global Handwashing Day 2018


October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, 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. This year’s theme focuses on the links between handwashing and food – including food hygiene and nutrition. This online hub serves as a conversational space that curates, collects, and maintains resources, blogs, and content for Global Handwashing Day. LEARN MORE


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Featured Posts

October 19, 2018

First ever global WASH in School report points out persistent gaps in handwashing

Three teachers looking at a mobile device

The first ever global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools (WinS) report concludes that WASH is a core element of a healthy school environment and crucial to promoting school attendance. The report by the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was recently launched during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The report provides valuable baseline information for all participating countries. The regional Fit for School programme, implemented by GIZ in partnership with the South-East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) will analyse the data with all program partners in order to accelerate progress in improving coverage and quality of WinS services.

“The report shows that globally more […]

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October 18, 2018

How a Swiss scale-up is taking up the fight against the spread of infectious disease worldwide

People walking through an airport hallway with a handwashing station

As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts, the Swiss cleantech scale-up, Smixin AG, is engaged in a comprehensive research, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley and the University of Cyprus. The preliminary results of the research are now made available. The research proves the extremely large impact that hand-hygiene behavior of airport population can have on the diffusion of infectious and bacterial diseases worldwide. Furthermore, it also identifies 10 airports that have a key role with regard to spread of global disease: when the ‘handwashing engagement’ increases at those airports only, the impact of the disease spreading worldwide would decrease already up to 37%.

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October 17, 2018

The Chicken or The Egg: Hand Hygiene Infrastructure vs. Behaviors in Healthcare Facilities

A health care worker washing her hands

Twenty-five tiny newborns were crammed three and four to a bed. The only sink was filled with dirty water with no soap in sight. An empty bottle of hand sanitizer was hung from a string attached to the door. The scene before me in the neonatal intensive care unit of a major hospital in Ethiopia wasn’t the worst I had seen, but it was no less impactful. An intern on duty told me it was not uncommon for one of the babies to contract an infection, which then rapidly spread to the others. I wasn’t surprised. Healthcare-associated infections in newborns are three to 20 times higher in resource-limited settings, like this one in Ethiopia, compared to more developed country contexts.[1] However, when handwashing […]

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October 16, 2018

Deliveries at DR Congo Health Center Surge Thanks to the “Clean Clinic Approach”

A woman cleans her newborn granddaughter

This article was originally posted on the MCSP website. Reposted with permission.

Above: A woman cleans her newborn granddaughter at a health center in DR Congo, where staff have completed an MCSP-led WASH training. The center is now clean and has running water. (Photo courtesy of Kate Holt/MCSP.) 

Isangi, Tshopo Province, DR Congo – Where is the safest place for a woman to give birth? In a well-functioning health facility. But to save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable mothers and babies, facilities must be ready and equipped to offer high-quality care.

In DR Congo – where maternal and child mortality remain stubbornly high – this can be a tall order.

Recognizing the critical role that poor water, sanitation […]

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Lead photo credit: Leanne Gray/FHI 360