The Global Handwashing Day has been held on October 15th every year since 2008. This is a day to advocate for handwashing with soap as the easiest and most effective way to prevent diseases and the spread of germs. This year, however, it is special. Hand hygiene plays a pivotal role preventing the transmission of COVID-19, and thus, handwashing is essential in the current pandemic. With a little effortless gesture you can save thousands of lives.
This year's theme, 'Hand Hygiene for All', is an effort to work all together towards universal access to handwashing. From schools and universities, local and national authorities, businesses and individuals, we all can do our part to achieve this objective. Because this day is also a reminder that 40% of the world's population still does not have access to basic handwashing facilities.
Benefits of handwashing
Handwashing with soap is easy, effective, affordable, and most importantly, it can save lives. The benefits of handwashing are numerous and it helps to improve your health and the health of those around you. Pathogens can be transferred from your unwashed hands to other people through objects you touch or food and drinks you prepare or share with others. So having good handwashing habits protects not only you, but everyone. The main benefit is that it reduces the transmission of a wide range of diseases, which includes the following:
- Outbreak related pathogens, such as the current COVID-19. As explained in a previous post, hand washing with soap is the most effective way to beat the virus. Due to its natural compounds, soap destroys the outer membrane of the virus and renders it inactive.
- Diarrhea. Millions of children die every year from diarrhea mostly in underdeveloped countries. Handwashing can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by up to 30%, a figure that outlines the importance of achieving a universal access to hand hygiene.
- Respiratory infections. Bacteria and germs that cause serious infections can get into your system when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands. Having good handwashing habits can reduce those infections by 20% because it removes those germs from your hands.
When to wash your hands
There are some critical times when washing your hands with soap is more important than others. These moments can be divided in 'Before' and 'After'.
You should wash your hands with soap before:
- Having any contact with food, whether to prepare or to eat
- Treating any wounds or sick people
You should wash your hands after:
- Using the toilet or cleaning a child
- Having any contact with food, specially raw foods
- Blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
- Treating wounds or sick people
- Handling garbage or waste of any kind
These are just some of the most important moments when you should wash your hands with soap and water, but it is not limited to them. If possible, you should wash your hands as regularly as possible.
What we are doing
We fully support and celebrate the Global Handwashing Day, and in line with this year's theme, we are including a complimentary vegan soap in every order. We believe this can make handwashing with soap a little bit more accessible and easier for everyone.
From The Clean Market we want to encourage you to adopt and maintain good handwashing habits. We dare you to lead by example and encourage others to do the same. Remind your family and friends to wash their hands, teach your children to do it, emphasise the importance of handwashing... we want you to champion the cause of handwashing, because it is a little gesture that saves lives.