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Our hands, our future!

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19th-Oct-2017       
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Life Desk :
Every year around 1.4 million child deaths and 15% infant deaths occur with either diarrhea, pneumonia or infectious diseases. Simple handwashing with soap just before and after the use of toilet could reduce the chances of diarrheal and respiratory infections by 25% among children under the age of 5. Good handwashing practices can prevent various disease outbreaks, reduce school absenteeism among kids, and improve healthcare outcomes.
About Global Handwashing Day
Global Handwashing Day was initially founded in 2008 by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) and it's partner organizations to promote handwashing with soap as key to better health and development.
How to promote handwashing with soap, beyond Handwashing Day?
If you are a parent?
Encourage proper handwashing practices at schools and playgrounds
Enquire about the school's handwashing stations and facilities
Make sure your home has a handwashing area with water and soap near or inside the toilet to encourage after wash behavior
Explain the importance of proper soap handwash and demonstrate the same behavior yourself
If you are a teacher or school leader?
Ensure that the school has a handwashing station near the toilet with soap
Inspect the stations and promote good maintenance of the facility
Conduct engaging handwash awareness programs and you may incorporate them into lesson plans
If you are a non-governmental organization?
Implement hygiene into other projects related to sanitation, child health and nutrition
Work towards increasing handwashing with soap and wash investments from donors and governments
If you are a government agency?
Encourage policies and raise national standards for handwash in schools
Review budgets and support handwash programs in schools and health facilities
Facts on handwashing
Every year, around 1.4 million child deaths and 15% infant deaths occur with either diarrhea, pneumonia or infectious diseases
Most countries in Africa were found to have less than 50 percentage basic handwashing facilities in 2015
Children under the age of 5 can decrease their of acquiring pneumonia and diarrhea by 46 and 44 percent by handwashing with soap
Lack of access to handwash can contribute to some of the leading killer diseases of children under 5 such as pneumonia, diarrhea etc
Globally around 300,000 to 40,000 babies die annually from post-partum infections
Handwashing by midwives before delivering babies may reduce the mortality rates by 19 percentage
An average person can encounter almost hundred chemicals before breakfast
Greater than 1 in 3 health facilities don't have access to water in low and middle-income countries
Studies on the importance of handwashing
In rural Zimbabwe, Dr.Mosler and his colleagues carried out a survey on handwashing behavior to develop a behavior change program to increase the perception of consistent handwashing. This program led to the increase of handwashing behavior, with an increase of 30% after defecation process, and 20% after meals and this also led to other's approval of hand washing. In another study, Dr. Hussam and her colleagues carried out a controlled study based on habit formation and nudging technique to make them handwash after meals in West Bengal. In this particular study, motivational incentives with benefits were provided during the monitoring process and were also motivated to receive further incentives.
'The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2017 is "Our Hands, Our Future!" The day promotes good hand hygiene by handwashing with soap.'
As a result, both incentives and monitoring had increased the handwashing behavior by 23 and 70 percentage in short-term and by incentives. Among all the intervention groups, the children had 39.5 and 23 percentage lesser days with diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.
When should you wash your hands?
Before, after or during food preparation
Before and after meals
Before and after helping a sick person
After toilet use
After changing a baby's diapers
After touching an animal, animal feed and its waste
After throwing out the garbage
What is the Right Way to Wash your Hands?
Wet your hands under the clean running water
Turn off the tap and apply soap or handwash liquid
Lather your hands
Lather the back of your hands, in between your fingers and under your nails
Keep scrubbing your hand for at least 20 seconds
Rinse properly under the running water
Pat them dry with a clean towel or cloth  
Handwashing with soap is one of the most important and inexpensive ways, we can take to protect ourselves and avoid the spread of diseases among a population. Good hand hygiene can keep you healthy and may lower your chances of contracting diseases.
Source: Medindia

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