Do you always wash your hands at all ‘critical times’: After using the toilet? Before preparing food? Before eating? After changing diapers or cleaning a child who used the toilet? After handling an animal? And after caring for a sick person?
Chances are no, you are not. And you are not alone. Globally, people wash their hands only 19 percent of the time after using the toilet or changing a child’s diaper. In some parts of the world, people wash their hands with soap just 1-2 percent of critical times.
… And that is bad news. Even if your hands look clean, they carry germs. This puts yourself and others at risk of infection and disease. Especially for children: an estimated 300,000 children under five years die each year in Nigeria due to diseases (diarrheal and respiratory diseases) that can largely be prevented by #Handwashing. Many more suffer from malnutrition due to diarrhoea, and miss school days when they fall sick.
The good news is that handwashing can greatly reduce the risk of falling sick. The costs are low, and the benefits high. An adage in Nigeria goes: ‘A child who washes his hands clean can eat at the table with elders’. We believe that children with clean hands today will grow up to be the elders that matter in the future.
Clean hands and a clean future starts with changing YOUR habits.
Handwashing is about YOUR behaviour, so remember to Wash Your Hands O!
Global Handwashing Day is celebrated all around the world on 15 October to raise awareness on the life-saving habit of handwashing. In Nigeria, we do things bigger. The whole month of October will be about handwashing in a month-long campaign led by the NGO United Purpose. Let’s make history with the world’s largest handwashing campaign and join the global movement.
So what can YOU do? You can join our Global Handwashing Day Campaign on social media using #Globalhandwashingday #Handwashing #GHD2017 and following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Wash your hands, teach children how to wash their hands, organise a handwashing activity, tell the world why handwashing is important and of course take many pictures and share with us!