Global Handwashing Day: Why do we celebrate it?
October 15 is observed as Global Handwashing Day. Global Handwashing Day campaigns to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. Washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important. Unclean hands are responsible for 80 percent of respiratory tract infections such as cold and the flu, diarrhea and intestinal illnesses, and common eye infections, which can be caused by bacteria and germs that get into your eyes from your hands. Dirty hands can also impact health leading to breakouts, blackheads, etc. and it can cause redness and rashes in people with sensitive skin.
How does soap work?
The soap suspends the dirt and soils. The friction motion helps pull dirt and greasy or oily soils free from the skin. Warm running water washes away suspended dirt and soils that trap germs. Final friction of wiping hands removes more germs.
With COVID-19 transmission mainly spreading between people through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with infected people via mouth and nose secretions, washing hands with soap and running water is of critical importance.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you should wash your hands at least for 40 to 60 seconds using clean water and soap. Today, as we celebrate the Global Handwashing Day, a 7 step-by-step guide to wash your hands.
- Wet your hands with clean, preferably running water.
- Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands and wrists.
- Lather and rub your hands together briskly and thoroughly. Make sure to scrub all surfaces of your hands, fingertips, fingernails, and wrists.
- Scrub your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands and wrists under clean water.
- Dry your hands and wrists with a clean towel, or let them air-dry.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet.
Good hand hygiene isn’t a measure to be used only during pandemics and other disease outbreaks. It’s a time-tested intervention that needs to be practiced consistently and mindfully to have the greatest effect on individual, community, and global health.