Make handwashing a habit

So many global days are commemorated and at times you ask for what? After understanding the background, you will learn to appreciate why.

On Saturday it was Global Handwashing Day – a campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits by washing their hands with soap at critical moments throughout each day.

handwshing in Zimbabwe using a tippy tap

This simple action of handwashing, when practiced religiously can reduce the risk of illness and death from diarrhoeal diseases. With 1.7 million children dying from these causes each year, I certainly think that is a great reason to celebrate the day!

In Zimbabwe we have continued to experience recurrent water and sanitation related diseases outbreaks despite efforts by various governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to educate the community. In Bindura, Practical Action Southern Africa has used podcasting technology to raise water and sanitation hygiene awareness (WASH) and reduce diarrheal diseases.

Through Practical Action’s WASH work, students and community members have been taught the importance of handwashing. Some were with the excuse that handwashing needs soap, but they were taught to use ash as it produces the same results as soap.

students in Zimbabwe handwashing

Health clubs were also formed to help spread the messages using podcasting, dramas or word of mouth, which have improved hygiene practices at individual, school and home level.

Huge successes have been recorded on handwashing. Health club members together with family members now wash their hands before engaging in any activity; for example, before eating and after visiting the toilet. Washing hands using soap has now become a habit to many. People are no longer using the traditional method of washing hands in one dish. The use of jugs, soap and running water is now the order of the day.

Water is poured over each person’s hands in turn and is then thrown away to avoid cross infection. Many of the participants from health clubs now know the correct handwashing practices.

Most children used to miss school due to sickness like diarrhoea and Malaria, but after some teachings from school health masters on the importance of handwashing, this is now history.

2 responses to “Make handwashing a habit”

  1. chinas Says:

    one of the Good habits is hand washing to prevent salmonella virus

  2. Vishal Says:

    Thanks for sharing nice information regarding how to avoid diseases with cleanliness.

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