Handwashing – a habit for life and not just for a day

Global Handwashing Day, celebrated on October 15th, is dedicated to increasing the awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.  

This is all the more urgent, as new estimates show that nearly half of the health care facilities worldwide lack basic hygiene services. One in eleven health care facilities lack both hygiene facilities at points of care, and handwashing facilities with water and soap at toilets – thereby becoming a potential death trap for all patients, including pregnant mothers, newborns, and children.  

To address this, the hands4health project aims to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times, by integrating Gravit’eau handwashing systems into a systematic approach to hand hygiene, water and sanitation in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to functional water supply systems. The project focuses on the most vulnerable in conflict-affected areas, refugee and internally displaced camps, informal settlements and remote rural areas in four countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Palestine.  

In the coming months, the project will focus on evaluating the impact of the Gravit’eau handwashing systems in selected health care facilities in Mali and Burkina Faso, and in schools in Nigeria and Palestine.

Recent hands4health handwashing activities

Find out more about the ongoing handwashing activities and the Global Handwashing Day 2022 celebrations that have been carried out within the scope of the hands4health initiative:

  • Palestine: Learn more about the RANAS behaviour change campaigns that are being piloted by Cesvi in schools. Read the full article here.
  • Mali: Tdh convened an event at the Zanabougou health care facility, in the Ségou Region, to celebrate Global Handwashing Day with the local health authorities. Read the full article here.
  • Nigeria: Tdh visited schools where the RANAS behaviour change campaigns have been piloted to celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Read the full article here.

More resources on handwashing

If you would like to find out more about or promote handwashing, we recommend the official website of the Global Handwashing Day initiative, which is packed with resources for promotion, advocacy, and behaviour change.