Global statistics reveal that 1.7 million children do not reach their fifth birthday caused by diarrhoea and pneumonia. This is a staggering figure particularly when you consider how simple it is to prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia.
Regularly washing hands with soap is easy, effective and affordable; goes a long way to preventing infections and in turn saves lives. Handwashing requires only a small amount of water and soap with huge benefits, and Dettol SA through #GlobalHandwashingDay are placing much focus on the benefits and simplicity of handwashing.
It is especially important to wash hands at regular key times ie after using the toilet and before touching food. This has proved to dramatically reduce the risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia – both serious illnesses that can result in death. Handwashing with soap will also prevent the spread of the influenza and Ebola viruses.
Sadly, whilst soap can be afforded by most households around the world, research has shown that some of the world’s poorest households do not have access to soap due to financial constraints. Interesting too is that some of these very poor households who do have access to soap will more commonly use it for laundry, dishwashing or bathing and forego handwashing. #GlobalHandwashingDay initiative, is to create awareness around handwashing – the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of handwashing and the absolute benefit in the prevention of the spread of diarrhoea and pneumonia. #GlobalHandwashingDay initiative also aims to foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap, and to shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world.
“Make Handwashing a Habit!” is the theme for the 2016 #GlobalHandwashingDay. This theme emphasises the importance of handwashing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability. Changing behaviours to bring about the habit of handwashing is currently a hot topic and this theme taps directly into the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in terms of what they know about how habits are formed.
Parenting Hub supports this valuable initiative #GlobalHandwashingDay and invite you to share this information and get involved where you believe you can. Send us a photo of your children washing their hands and your stories of what you’re doing to work towards preventing these awful diseases – diarrhoea and pneumonia.