Handwashing with soap – more relevant than ever

On 15th October, people in oct15-engmore than 80 countries are celebrating Global Handwashing Day.  With impacts reaching far beyond the day itself, the event raises awareness that hand washing with soap, such a simple gesture, can save lives.

The battle against Ebola highlights once again how important this practice is for preventing disease. Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to « self-vaccinate» against the transmission of viral diseases according to Sanjay Wjiesekera head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. “Our teams on the ground in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are stressing the importance of handwashing as part of a raft of measures that are needed to halt the spread of Ebola. It is not a magic bullet, but it is a means of additional defence which is cheap and readily available.

One more reason to redouble our efforts to ensure hand washing with soap is firmly anchored in the habits of every man, woman and child – everyone, everywhere, at all times.

Prevention is better than cure!



tippy tapThe Tippy-Tap is a simple device to wash hands where there is no running water.

You can find instructions to make a Tippy-Tap  in our collection of technical briefs at Practical Answers



To read about Practical Action’s work to improve access to safe water and sanitation visit: https://practicalaction.org/urban-water-sanitation-waste

To support our work visit: https://practicalaction.org/make-a-donation

2 responses to “Handwashing with soap – more relevant than ever”

  1. Gigi Says:

    Yes! Handwashing is arguably THE MOST IMPORTANT public health action to reduce disease. Here is a nice TED talk about it. http://www.ted.com/talks/myriam_sidibe_the_simple_power_of_hand_washing?utm_campaign=null&utm_source=l.facebook.com&awesm=on.ted.com_s0Apg&utm_content=awesm-inlinelinkcreator&utm_medium=on.ted.com-facebook-share#t-122185

  2. Mary Allen Says:

    Thanks Gigi – and how delightful that Mariam Sidibe is from Mali in West Africa too!

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