Tag Archives: Global Handwashing Day

Handwashing Fact Sheet and Annotated Bibliography

Below is a fact sheet from a recent UNICEF literature review and an annotated bibliography of handwashing studies that we hope will be useful for Global Handwashing Day on Oct. 15, 2010.

Evidence Specific to Handwashing with Soap (Fact Sheet)– From: Evidence base: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions Literature Review: September 2010, Peter van Maanen, WASH Section, UNICEF.

  • Handwashing at critical times including before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet can reduce diarrhoea rates by almost 40 per cent (3IE 2009).
  • Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARI’s) by around 23 per cent (WELL 2007).
  • One study assessed the effect of hand washing promotion with soap on the incidence of pneumonia and found that children younger than 5 years in households that received plain soap and hand washing promotion had a 50% lower incidence of pneumonia than controls.
  • Pneumonia (a lower respiratory infection) is the number one cause of mortality among children under five years old, taking the lives of an estimated 1.8 million children per year (SOWC 2008).
  • Handwashing can be a critical measure in controlling pandemic outbreaks of respiratory infections. Several studies carried out during the 2006 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) suggest that washing hands more than 10 times a day can cut the spread of the respiratory virus by 55 per cent (BMJ 2009).
  • Handwashing with soap is has been cited as one of the most cost effective interventions to prevent diarrhoeal related deaths and disease (Cairncross and Valdmanis 2006).
  • A review of several studies shows that handwashing in institutions such as primary schools and daycare centers reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by an average of 30 per cent (Cochrane 2008).
  • Rates of handwashing around the world are low. Observed rates of handwashing with soap at critical moments – i.e, before handling food and after using the toilet range from zero per cent to 34 per cent (Scott et al 2003).
  • A recent study shows that handwashing with soap by birth attendants and mothers significantly increased newborn survival rates by up to 44 per cent (Rhee et al 2008).
  • The lack of soap is not a significant barrier to handwashing – with the vast majority of even poor households having soap. Soap was present in 95 per cent of households in Uganda, 97 per cent of households in Kenya and 100 per cent of households in Peru (Curtis et al 2009).
  • Water alone is not enough, and soap is rarely used for handwashing. Laundry, bathing and washing dishes are seen as the priorities for soap use (GHD Planners Guide).
  • New studies suggest that handwashing promotion in schools can play a role in reducing absenteeism among primary school children. In China, for example, promotion and distribution of soap in primary schools resulted in 54 per cent fewer days of absence among students compared to schools without such an intervention (Bowen et al 2007)

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Bangladesh: children smash handwashing world record

Washing hands may not seem worthy of a certificate, but for thousands of children in Bangladesh the simple practice has got them into the Guinness Book of World Records.

On Global Handwashing Day last October [2009], Plan Bangladesh and its partners organised an event where 52,970 school children gathered at multiple locations across the country to wash their hands with soap and water. The campaign was set up to motivate people to change their attitude towards current hygiene practices and save lives.

Global Handwashing Day, Bangladesh

Global Handwashing Day: handwashing demonstration in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Photo: MaMoni

Approximately 110,000 Bangladeshi children aged under 5 die due to diarrhoea every year. Hand washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the disease.

New world record

The gathering smashed the 2008 record which was set by Bangladesh and stood at 1,213 . Now Plan Bangladesh has received a certificate from the Guinness World Records which seals their place in history. [The official Guinness site still lists the record set on 19 October 2009 by the Edenglen primary school in Johannesburg, South Africa with 1,802 handwashing students, while India also claimed it had broken the record when about 15,000 students from 23 schools converged in a sports stadium n Chennai].

Zillur Rahman, Plan Bangladesh’s water and environmental sanitation specialist who coordinated the event, said: “We are very happy we broke the world record in this. Plan got involved in this campaign to highlight the bad hygiene practices in the country and we believe the campaign has raised this issue amongst people especially in the life of children.”

Spreading the word

On the day, 25,000 children gathered in a school playground in Dhaka to take part. After the event, one of the children said: “Now we know the importance of washing hands with soap and water and we will definitely tell our family and community about its benefit.” Thousands more school children washed their hands with soap and water simultaneously all over the country.

In Bangladesh, hygiene practices are generally poor. The national figure of washing hands with soap and water after defecation is 58.8% while this figure drops to 50.4% in rural areas.

Related web sites:

Source: Plan Bangladesh, 01 Jul 2010

Do the Global Handwashing dance! “Washy washy wa”

Kaiji Moriyama lathers up. Photo: UNICEF

Kaiji Moriyama lathers up. Photo: UNICEF

UNICEF Japan and its partners have released a hilarious video to promote handwashing to mark 2009 Global Handwashing Day.

Renowned Japanese dancer Kaiji Moriyama has choreographed a dance for a public service announcement designed to teach children the principles of good handwashing.

The dance shows children how in just 20 seconds they can properly wash their palms, nails, fingers and wrists. The dance has almost no verbal instruction, but, by simply following the steps, children learn proper handwashing while also having fun.

Go “washy washy wa”  and “soupy soupy soo” together with Kaiji and do the Global Handwashing dance!

This could become the new Macarena!

South Africa or India: who holds the world record for handwashing?

South African children have set an official new Guiness World Record for the most number of people washing hands at one location, but a simultaneous event in India attracted more than eight times as many students.

About 15,000 students from 23 schools in Chennai converged under the blazing sun in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to celebrate Global Handwashing Day and break the previous record held since 22 October 2008 by Bhiddwa School Niketon of Dhaka, Bangladesh with 1,213 participants.

Photo: Indian Express

Photo: Indian Express

The programme in Chennai began almost an hour late. Luckily, the dignitaries kept their speeches short. Large screens placed in the stadium aired demonstrations on how to wash hands.

Soon after the speeches, the whistle blew and the children got into the act. They had bubble bottles, soaps and paper napkins all in place. And in less than 10 minutes, the event was over.

Though the children liked the idea of coming together and assembling in the stadium, the scorching heat posed a problem. “Our teachers insisted that we came, otherwise we would not have bothered about this,” said a group of children from a Corporation high school.

On the other hand, some students were really excited to be part of the event. “We knew that we are going to be part of a record-setting event. Despite being a bit tired, we find it great to be here,” said Saravan and friends from a school near Choolai.

The students were brought together by the government, World Health Organization and Lifebuoy to promote the habit of washing hands as a measure to prevent disease.

Bryan Habana washing hands with the children. Photo: Bongani Nkosi

Bryan Habana washing hands with the children. Photo: Bongani Nkosi

At the same time in South Africa, local rugby hero Bryan Habana and 1,802 Gauteng schoolchildren were staging their own record breaking attempt.

Habana is part of the Gimme 5 for Germ-free Hands campaign led by Protex, an anti-bacterial soap brand, owned by Colgate Palmolive. The campaign has visited more than 1,200 primary schools throughout the country. On Global Handwashing Day about 1-million children from schools around South Africa washed their hands under the auspices of the brand.

The South African was officially recognised as a Guinness World Record by adjudicator Carl Saville, who flew out from the UK for the occasion.

Source: Indian Express, 16 Oct 2009

Golden Poo Award Winners

Uganda’s Minister of State for Water Jennifer Namuyangu Byakatonda is one of the winners of a Golden Poo Award. The minister was the winner in the Sanitation Champion category.

Golden-Poo-AwardsThe award ceremony took place on Thursday 15th October in the Prince Charles Cinema in London. The event was organised by PooP Creative and sponsored by the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) as part of the Global Handwashing Day activities in the UK.

The Golden Poo Award for Hygiene Champion went to Mary Swai and Rebecca Budimu from Tanzania.

Golden Poo Award winners Rebecca Budimu (back left) and Mary Swai (back right) with children in Tanzania. Photo: UNICEF

Golden Poo Award winners Rebecca Budimu (back left) and Mary Swai (back right) with children in Tanzania. Photo: UNICEF

Mary Swa is Head of the Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene section of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and Rebecca Budimu is WASH Specialist from UNICEF Tanzania’s Young Child Survival and Development Section. The award was collected by the High Commissioner of Tanzania on behalf of the winners.

Ms. Budimu has been working with UNICEF as a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist for the past 14 years, often as the only WASH staff member in the country. As a child, Rebecca’s family did not have a latrine, but instead used the bush. This experience reinforced her commitment and understanding for adoption of good hygiene and sanitation practices – particularly at the household level.

In her work, Ms. Budimu has focused on raising awareness about the benefits of improved hygiene and sanitation issues as well as championed and supported local artisans on latrine construction.

Ms. Swai has spearheaded the development and revision of hygiene promotion tools in Tanzania. She advocates for increased community engagement and innovative approaches as viable solutions.

Golden Poo Award video

The remaining Gold Poo Awards went to the winners of an animated film competition set up by PooP Creative and The London International Animation Festival. The audience in the Prince Charles Cinema gave their votes to:

  • Number ONE film Dancing In The Loo by Delphine Mandin
  • Number TWO film A Film About Poo by Emily Howells and Anne Wilkins
  • Runner-up film Are You Spreading Poo? by Rob and Tom Sears

The final prize, the SUDS! Hygiene Poster Competition Golden Poo Certificate, was jointly awarded to Chloe Izzard and Amy Murphy.

Below are three prize winning animation films.

Number ONE film Dancing In The Loo by Delphine Mandin

Number TWO film A Film About Poo by Emily Howells and Anne Wilkins

Runner-up film Are You Spreading Poo? by Rob and Tom Sears

SourceGolden Poo Awards web site ; UNICEF, 16 Oct 2009

Global Handwashing Day 2009: Spread the word, not the germs

Next Thursday, 15 October, marks the second annual Global Handwashing Day, which millions of children and adults will celebrate with special activities in over 80 countries.

Handwashing with soap and water is one of the most affordable and effective interventions to prevent needless deaths of children under the age of five. It helps reduces diarrhoea-related deaths by more than 40 per cent and cases of acute respiratory disease by about 25 per cent.

The promotion of handwashing with soap is also a key strategy for controlling the spread of the H1N1 virus – another major focus of the planned events in many countries on 15 October.

‘Clean hands save lives’

Meanwhile, the popular Australian children’s entertainers, The Wiggles, have once again partnered with UNICEF to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap.

“Teaching children to wash their hands with soap and water from an early age helps instil this behaviour for life,” says Murray the Red Wiggle. “Handwashing with soap positively impacts children, families, communities and nations by reducing disease and increasing productivity.”

And children themselves play a central role in spreading the word instead of the germs. Under the slogan ‘Clean hands save lives,’ Global Handwashing Day 2009 will honour schoolchildren as effective communicators and agents of change, who learn good hygiene practices at school and take them back into their homes and communities.

For children, this direct involvement in hygiene promotion instils a sense of empowerment. Ultimately, it helps make hygienic behaviours, such as handwashing with soap, stick for a lifetime.

Events around the world

Last year, over 80 countries participated in handwashing day activities, with about 200 million children washing their hands with soap and water at public events. Activities ranged from school assemblies and contests to government outreach programmes, SMS text messaging campaigns, photo exhibits and celebrity appearances.

This year, Global Handwashing Day is being celebrated with renewed enthusiasm. Japan, Guatemala and Mali are preparing educational programmes, demonstrations and performances. Nepal is promoting a handwashing song to be played during its annual Teej Festival. Côte d’Ivoire is training restaurant workers on handwashing techniques and prevention of H1N1. See an updated list on the official Global Handwashing Day web site.

The annual observance was launched in 2008 as an initiative of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap. It is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, private companies and individuals worldwide.

In a related development, UNICEF and the World Health Organization will release a new report on 14 October focusing on the prevention and treatment of diarrhoeal diseases as a central factor in improving child survival.

Watch the public service announcement starring the popular Australian children’s entertainers, The Wiggles, promoting Global Handwashing Day 2009, below

Source: UNICEF, 09 Oct 2009

The Golden Poo Awards

Held at: The Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place WC2H7BY
on Thursday October 15th, 2009, at 6.00pm

Is Poo a suitable subject for Comedy? The Glamorous Golden Poo Awards that are being held in a West End Cinema in London on 15 October will prove that it is! It’s all in a good cause – to highlight the fact that poo kills at least a million children every year and that handwashing and better sanitation are the best way to fight this public menace.

The Golden Poo Awards promise an hilarious, un-missable evening of comedy and short animated films about hygiene and poo, forming part of a world-wide campaign to promote Global Handwashing Day October 15th.

This unique red-carpet event, hosted by Dr Phil Hammond (Have I Got News For You; MD Private Eye) promises an exciting and riotous evening of entertainment. The show will feature six intriguing short animated films about hygiene and the taboo subject of poo! An audience vote will decide the Number One and Number Two films, and the winning artists will be presented with coveted Golden Poo Awards. The selected films have been short-listed from a competition set up by PooP Creative and The London International Animation Festival.

See below two of the short-listed films “Why Wash” by Staffordshire University and Are You Spreading Poo? – Rob and Tom Sears

Two International Golden Poo Awards will also be awarded – Hygiene Champion and Sanitation Champion – to celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to improving sanitation and good hygiene practice around the world.

Dr Val Curtis, Director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: “We need to talk about Poo. Poo shouldn’t be taboo because poo kills 5000 children a day. The Golden Poo Awards recognizes those heroes that fight poo daily in their work for hygiene and sanitation around the world”

The Golden Poo Awards is one of a number of UK activities taking place on Global Handwashing Day – a campaign across 5 continents, which aims to mobilise millions of people to wash their hands with soap.

The Golden Poo Awards are sponsored by the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and PooP Creative Ltd.

Web site: www.thegoldenpooawards.org/

Global Handwashing Day, 15 October 2009

Initiated in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies and individuals around the globe.

The driving theme for Global Handwashing Day is children and schools, and the main objectives of this global celebration are:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap.
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country.
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap

Get involved and download the Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide

Global Handwashing Day web site

Pakistan: MoE confident to achieve IYS 2008 targets

The Ministry of Environment is making concerted efforts to achieve the targets set for International Year of Sanitation-2008 […] in collaboration its partners like UNICEF, RSPN, PPAF, Water Aid, WSP-SA, USAID.

The Ministry has prime focus on four targets set for IYS-2008.

The targets one and two include; Finalization and approval of Provincial Sanitation Strategies/Action Plans by the respective Cabinets, and dissemination of hygiene messages [with support of UNICEF, USAID, RSPN and others] focusing on hand washing with soap, construction and use of latrines and use of safe water amongst at least 20% population (33 million).

Targets, three and four, include provision of improved sanitation facilities to at least 6% of the country’s population (700,000 HHs) over and above the existing [by scaling up the concept of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)], and finalization and approval of National Drinking Water Policy by the Federal Cabinet and development of action plan for implementation.

[…] “The Balochistan Provincial Cabinet has already approved the provincial sanitation policy and strategy while in other provinces, the strategies are in the process of approval,” said Director General Environment, Javed Ali Khan. “Strategies for AJK and FANA have also been prepared.”

A Sanitation and hygiene week was observed in collaboration with Ministry of Health and UNICEF [in Punjab from from October 27 to November 1, 2008 – The News, 24 Oct 2008].

Source: APP,  18 Oct 2008

[Speaking at a briefing on Global Handwashing Day, Environment Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari revealed] that unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices […] cost Rs 112 billion per annum in Pakistan. […] He further said that poor sanitation and hygiene practices were also proving to be one of the route causes of the spread of polio, as, he informed, studies conducted during the year 2008 revealed that most of the Polio cases in Pakistan during the year came from families having no toilets.

[…] In Pakistan, [Lashari] said, diarrhea killed 11% of the total children [who] died before their fifth birthday, while overall cost due to the disease in the country was Rs 55 billion per year.

Source: Khalid Aziz, The Nation, 15 Oct 2008

Sri Lanka: raising awareness for sanitation and handwashing

The Sanitation Task Force (STF) in Sri Lanka [urged] politicians, teachers, households and communities to ensure sanitation in their localities by creating adequate awareness and understanding of its importance in maintaining the health of the nation. STF made this statement on 15 Oct 2008 at a function held to mark the International Year of Sanitation.

[…] Access to sanitation is lowest in districts such as Anuradhapura, Ampara and Moneragala and in some conflict affected districts, sanitation is as low as 30%. A high percentage of Sri Lanka’s 10,000 schools do not have adequate sanitation facilities and 600 do not have any at all; 15% of the schools have facilities that been recorded as irreparable by the Ministry of Education. According to the school census of 2007, in Sri Lanka 3658 schools do not have adequate sanitation facilities and 2373 do not have drinking water facilities

[D]iarrhea is the third leading cause of infant deaths in Sri Lanka.

Also on 15 October, to celebrate Global Handwashing Day, 1,500 Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) visited 1,500 schools and to reach 1 million school children and demonstrated how handwashing should be done. […] A poster and a flip chart have been developed to demonstrate 9 steps of handwashing, based on surgical technique. These were be displayed in places like hospitals, plantation sector clinics child development centers and health clinics. The promotional activities continued in the following week, during Sri Lanka’s Food Safety week from 20th – 26th October. TV advertorials as well as print advertorials were produced.

Source: By Hemanthi Guruge, Daily Mirror, 16 Oct 2008 ; Global Handwashing Day – Country Updates – Sri Lanka