October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding
about the importance of handwashing with. Every year, Global Handwashing Day is celebrated with events, campaigns, and handwashing programs around the world.
Before each Global Handwashing Day, the Global Handwashing Partnership selects a theme that will inspire celebrants and encourage handwashing with soap beyond October 15. This year’s theme is ‘Our Hands, Our Future’, reminding us that handwashing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world.
Thinking of the future, we strive for continued health, well-being, and productivity for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Handwashing is an affordable, effective way to achieve these goals. For example, handwashing with soap could prevent many of the 272 million yearly schooldays lost to diarrheal disease, and 50% of the infections acquired in healthcare settings.
Handwashing with soap has the power to improve access to education for children, protect the health of patients and communities, and reduce inequities. It has an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals—contributing to zero hunger, good health, quality education, reduced inequalities, and more. Efforts on Global Handwashing Day to promote the benefits and practice of handwashing with soap, as well as fostering access to and improving hygiene facilities, will help us work towards a future where that potential is realized.