Today the Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) joins the world in commemorating the Global Handwashing Day – a day that is celebrated on the 15th of October every year to raise global awareness on the importance of hand-washing with soap.
This year’s Global Handwashing Day theme is Hand Hygiene for All which calls for everyone to practice the regular washing of hands with soap in order to achieve universal hand hygiene now and for the future.
The commemorations are coming at a time when the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic has constantly made people conscious of the importance of handwashing with soap if we are to curb the spread of the virus. People have also been conscious to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to disinfect their hands where running water and soap is not available as a measure of ensuring hand hygiene is adhered to.
Our hands touch so many surfaces that are bacteria infested, handwashing with soap removes germs from hands which will then prevent diarrhoea, respiratory infections and may also even help prevent skin and eye infections since people regularly touch their eyes, nose and face.
As we commemorate this day, we would like to remind the public of the importance of handwashing with soap which is one of the cheapest and most effective habits people can practice in order to protect themselves and others against coronavirus and any other infections caused by bacteria.
In order to have a healthy nation, it calls for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, we all have a role to play. Government, particularly the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works need to ensure there is access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for All. The 3 WASH components support and strengthen each other hence the absence of one derails the progress of the other. The availability of clean and running water will complement the handwashing culture hence there is dire need to end “water poverty” as a matter of urgency.
SAYWHAT would to take this opportunity to encourage All to continue with the habit of handwashing with soap and running water NOW and BEYOND COVID-19 since this is a healthy practice that will never go out of fashion!
Don’t be caught germy-handed, make a #SMARTCHOICE of washing your hands always.