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Global Handwashing Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap as a simple, effective, and affordable means to prevent diseases and save lives. Proper handwashing practices can significantly reduce the risk of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and other illnesses, particularly among children under the age of five. The day is celebrated worldwide, engaging millions of people to promote hand hygiene and contribute to improving health and wellbeing.
The concept of Global Handwashing Day was initiated during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2008. In India, this observance holds immense significance, considering the country has a high burden of communicable diseases. According to the World Health Organization, diarrhoea is the fourth leading cause of death among children under five in India. Poor sanitation, contaminated water, and inadequate handwashing practices contribute to the spread of infections. Thus, Global Handwashing Day presents an opportunity to spread awareness on the importance of hand hygiene and its impact on public health.
In India, various government and non-government organizations, educational institutions, and communities come together to mark Global Handwashing Day by organizing events, campaigns, and workshops. Activities include school programs, where students participate in handwashing demonstrations, poster-making competitions, and skits emphasizing the theme. Public gatherings, distribution of soaps, and mass media campaigns also play an essential role in creating awareness. Global Handwashing Day is observed every year on October 15 in India and worldwide, providing a platform to foster and support a culture of handwashing with soap to improve overall health and well-being of the population.
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References and related sitesglobalhandwashing.org: Global Handwashing Day www.buffalo.edu: Availability of Soap