The scary stats that trail communities that default in basic hygiene (even though there’s nothing “basic” about hygiene) keeps increasing year-in-year-out. Hence, the reason why health organizations came together in 2008 to select a particular period of the year when handwash would be put under the spotlight, and the importance of standard hygiene, elaborated.

October 15, is when Global Handwash Day is celebrated and it is an annual global global hand washng awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Each year has different themes but the theme for this is simple and concise. 

“Clean Hands For All”



This year’s theme follows the push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development agenda. “Clean Hands For All” – The theme for GH Day 2019 is to remind us that we must be inclusive when addressing handwashing disparities. Inequalities in handwashing facilities and effective handwashing promotion programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact education, economic, and most importantly, health outcomes.

PZ Cussons and United Purpose have come in partnership and this year, the aim is to cover more areas, reach more people and enlighten more neighbourhoods. Last year, the stats were great – 200 schools reached, 46,600 children empowered and 2,130 hygiene heroes chosen! 2019 aims to see a significant increase in those stats for the Global Handwash Day

global hand wash

Why is handwash such a big deal?” Quite a number of campaign critics have asked.

Handwashing with soap simply isn’t happening enough. Around the world, only an estimated 19% of people wash their hands with soap after contact with excreta. Globally, only about 40% of households have access to a place to wash their hands. Even medical professionals aren’t perfect – only about 40% are estimated to clean their hands at all critical times.

This exposes the fact that dirty hands lead to several diseases like Hepatitis A, Cholera, Typhoid, Diarrhea, and so on. Speaking of which – Diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day—more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Diarrheal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhoea the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5.

There are some immediate things we can all do to change this. First, we need to wash our hands with soap at all critical times and encourage others to do the same. We may have clean hands but still, get infected due to another person’s negligence to ensure they carry clean hands.

In every space, it is expedient we ensure there’s a good place to wash hands (stocked with soap and water available), in our homes, schools, or workplaces. Handwash with a renowned soap, such as Carex handwash liquid soap is imperative. This is the message PZ Cussons and United Purpose have determined to propagate to as many communities as possible in 2019.

Clean Hands Save Lives!

When we wash our hands with the Carex hand wash liquid soap, the soap is specially formulated to remove germs from our hands, thereby prevent them from entering our bodies and making us sick. From the common cold to potentially life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and the flu, handwashing with soap can prevent a wide range of diseases.

Clean Hands Save Lives – evidence shows that good hygiene practices like handwashing with soap can give newborns a 44% better rate of survival. This is why public health and development organizations from all sectors should continue to promote effective handwashing behaviour change in research, policy, programs, and advocacy.

Finally, Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with a bar of soap as potent as the Carex soap, at critical times and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap. PZ Cussons and United Purpose jointly advocate for – Clean Hands For All!


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