SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Global Handwashing Day is celebrated on October 15th every year in efforts to educate and encourage the public to embrace the benefits of properly washing their hands with water and soap.
Hand washing is a simple, cost effective and yet a very impactful intervention to significantly maintain one’s health and keep the germs away.
This year the theme is “Our future is at hand- let’s move forward together”. The theme marks the importance of universal hand hygiene. Together we can work towards achieving health goals.
Right now, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid getting others sick. The key to preventing the spread of germs and viruses by hand washing, is in the technique. It is especially important to wash your hands frequently with soap and water while scrubbing the palms, back of hands, in-between fingers and underneath the fingernails. Be sure to lather for at least 20 seconds or more and dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
Handwashing education in the community can:
- Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by about 23–40%
- Reduce absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29–57%
- Reduce diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by about 58%
- Reduce respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19 and colds, in the general population by about 16–21%
Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community, handwashing with soap and water can protect you and your family. Remember, clean hands save lives.