Unite for universal hand hygiene

Handwashing with soap and clean water is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which have claimed the lives of millions of children all over the world. To increase the global awareness on the importance of handwashing with soap to prevent diseases and save lives, Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is celebrated each year on October 15th.

The 2022 GHD celebration was unique, as it fell on a weekend. Determined not to let the date go unnoticed, Terre des hommes (Tdh) organised celebratory activities on October 17th, targeting the two public schools where the RANAS behavior change campaigns have been piloted for the hands4health project. Activities such as the puppet show and walls of handwashing were piloted during the GHD celebration, to enable school children to understand the impact of handwashing in key situations, the dangers of not washing hands, and the bad practices of hand hygiene.

These activities integrate the behaviour change pillar of the hands4health project, which will systematically develop and test behaviour change campaigns targeting hand hygiene behaviour in health care facilities and schools based on the RANAS approach. The expected result is safe and frequent hand hygiene behaviour in different user groups of health care facilities and schools. The focus is set on health care staff and school children in particular. Local implementation partners are involved throughout the whole development and implementation process of the behaviour change campaigns.

Next steps

Terre des hommes is currently working on the selection of the schools that will integrate the intervention stage, which will include further RANAS behaviour change campaigns in each school.