Hygiene for all | Sunday Observer
Global Hand Washing Day:

Hygiene for all

18 October, 2020

The Covid- 19 pandemic has taught the vitality of washing hands. This year Global Hand Washing Day was celebrated on October 15 worldwide under the theme, ‘Hand Hygiene for All’.

The World Health Organization, UNICEF, the United Nations, and many other organisations around the world raised awareness and distributed essential sanitisation products to improve hygiene standards among communities signifying the importance of washing hands.

At present hand washing has become a crucial topic of discussion, to be practised and cultivated in the day to day lives of people.

According to the World Health Organization, disinfection is the most effective method to avoid the spread of the virus from direct social contact.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a reminder that washing hands must be a priority now and in the future to maintain personal hygiene.

The WHO and UNICEF report on sanitation reveals that more than one in three health facilities in low and middle-income countries do not have any access to water. Also, when the reliability, safety, and distance of the water supply are taken into account, that ratio increases to one in two.

As a solution to the the issue the WHO has produced training guides, awareness-raising material, and infection prevention and control standards for health facilities.

Also, the WHO and UNICEF together have published a new tool, the Water and Sanitation for health facility improvement tool (WASH FIT), which practically guides to improve quality care through water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities.

A summary of the WHO recommendations on hand hygiene commands to use alcohol-based hand rub (faster, more effective and better tolerated by the skin than washing with soap and water) if hands are not visibly dirty; and washing with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty, and after using the toilet.

This practice leads to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals and is an opportunity to learn, design, test, replicate, and share creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands at critical times.

Global Hand Washing Day celebration should be continued beyond October 15.