Raise a hand for hygiene: Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2015!
Sunny Neji celebrates Global Handwashing Day 2014 in Nigeria. (via Concern Universal)
Global Handwashing Day is right around the corner! Don't wait to start planning!
October 15 will be here before you know it. Which means now is the time to start planning your Global Handwashing Day celebration. This year's theme for Global Handwashing Day is "Raise a hand for hygiene"!
This theme is action-oriented and can be used particularly well for advocacy purposes. For instance, the act of raising a hand is one of affiliation. You can and should identify yourself as a hygiene champion. This can help create a strong social norm of good hygiene in a school, community, or region. Likewise, when people raise a hand, they can also be counted. In terms of handwashing, this is a reminder that it is possible for governments to count how many people wash their hands and have access to hygiene facilities in homes, schools, and healthcare facilities. Governments must measure hygiene indicators to know where resources should be concentrated. Global Handwashing Day is a good opportunity to ask governments to fulfill this important role. We can also raise a hand to draw attention to the need for change, from parents’ associations raising a hand to ask for a better school hygiene policy to celebrities raising a hand to ask politicians to fund hygiene programs.
In July the PPPHW joined over 100 organizations to send a letter asking key United Nations (UN) Member States and decision makers to ensure that hygiene is included in the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an indicator.
In early August, the UN announced the SDGs, which will be formally agreed upon in September. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many WASH advocates, hygiene was included both in the vision statement and as a target under Goal 6. This is great news! But, the work is not yet complete. We need to ensure that hygiene is included as an indicator. You can join our advocacy efforts by signing our petition with the same request. Or, read our blog in the Huffington Post to learn more about why hygiene is important in the SDGs.
Want to stay up-to-date on the latest in handwashing research and thinking? Read our second quarter Handwashing Research Summary. Past research summaries are also available on our website.
With the WHO finding that standard hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers was just 38.7% on average, former PPPHW Secretariat Director, Layla McCay's editorial in the BMJ on the potential for emotional motivators to improve hand hygiene among healthcare workers is particularly important.
Will you be at Stockholm World Water Week in August? If so, we would love to meet up and talk hygiene! Email us to set up a meeting. If you aren't able to attend, be sure to follow our live coverage and daily blog updates on our website.
Another opportunity to meet us will be at the UNC Water and Health Conference October 26-30.