Global Handwashing Day 2023: History, Significance, Celebration

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global handwashing day

October 15 is designated as Global Handwashing Day, a significant event for raising public awareness of the value of washing hands with soap. This inexpensive method of illness prevention and life preservation is straightforward but highly successful. 

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the significance of hand hygiene became well-recognised. Every year on October 15, the world participates in Global Handwashing Day to promote common hand hygiene practices. In order to protect everyone’s health, it tries to make handwashing a daily ritual. Speaking on which, in this blog, we will talk about the basic practices one should follow on this day, the significance behind this day, and much more. 

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Global Handwashing Day 2023: History

Global Handwashing Day was first observed in 2008 and was created by the Global Handwashing Partnership, an association of international partners committed to promoting the use of soap when washing one’s hands. 

At the first event, more than 120 million kids from 70 different nations adopted the practice of washing their hands with soap. This day has prospered ever since, progressively broadening its influence.

To promote a global commitment to handwashing with soap, the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) launched this day in 2008. The goal is to draw attention to the health benefits of handwashing and to promote its inclusion in efforts to improve global public health. 

Source: WHO

Theme 2023

Handwashing has never been more important than today. As we celebrate the 12th Global Handwashing Day alongside fighting a pandemic, the theme for this year has been chosen as ‘Clean Hands are Within Reach‘. This year’s theme calls upon society to come together and celebrate washing hands, especially with soap. It also awakens society how hand washing is for a safe and healthy future.

UN-Water by the United Nations (UN) has laid down some points elucidating the impact of handwashing in breaking the transmission of diseases:

  • Handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by 20%.
  • Handwashing can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by 30% to 48.
  • Hand washing plays an important role in reducing the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens like Cholera, Ebola, SARS, Shigellosis, and Hepatitis E. 
  • Hand hygiene may contribute to the reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
  • Hand hygiene is protective against healthcare-associated infections and reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Source: WHO

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Global Handwashing Day 2023: Significance 

The true meaning of Global Handwashing Day is to embrace the benefits of handwashing and foster good hygiene practices. Knowing that our hands are the main entry point for infections, keeping ourselves clean becomes essential for people of all ages. 

This event serves as a reminder to encourage personal hygiene, which includes routinely washing your hands, using hand sanitizers, and using the proper toiletries. Additionally, the government’s efforts to educate the populace about the value of hygiene are recognized on this day.

Global Handwashing Day 2023: Why is Washing Hands Important?

Washing your hands is one of the simple routines that can truly shield people against many ailments. Our fingernails, nail beds, and the spaces between our fingers become contaminated with numerous germs throughout a typical workday. These bacteria proliferate and are ingested, which results in a variety of diseases.

By using hand sanitizers, our contact with bacteria and pathogens that cause sickness is eliminated from our hands. 

By thoroughly washing their hands under running water and soap, people of all ages and immune systems can prevent illness. By often washing your hands, you can prevent gastrointestinal diseases that lead to diarrhea as well as respiratory disorders like pneumonia. 

Many of these infections can be fatal for some people, especially elderly adults, those whose immune systems are weak, newborns, and kids. It is possible to spread these illnesses even if you are healthy.

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Global Handwashing Day 2023: Measure to Take While Washing Hands

It has been seen that using soap and water to wash your hands removes more germs than simply rinsing with water. It may not be necessary to use antibacterial soap every day at home if you are not in a medical environment. The simplest solution is just to use water and soap.

Below are the steps that everyone should follow when washing their hands:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly: You must give your hands a good, complete wash with soap and water. To fully clean your hands, this process should last at least 20 seconds. Remember to wash the backs of your hands, wrists, and fingers.
  • Use hand sanitizer: Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available. Hand sanitizer can help stop the spread of germs when used frequently.
  • Dry your hands properly: Bacteria are more prone to spread on damp hands. It’s important to properly dry your hands after washing or sanitizing them. Dry using a fresh towel or the air.
  • Avoid touching your face: Every day, people touch their faces several times. Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, eyes, and nose, needlessly. The simple act of touching your face might spread germs.


Q1. What are the activities for Global Handwashing Day 2023?

A1. Practice Proper Handwashing: Spend at least 20 seconds demonstrating and practicing the appropriate handwashing method using soap and water.
Inform your friends, family, and neighbors about the necessity of washing your hands.

Q2. What is the aim of hand washing?

A2. The main aim behind hand washing is to remove all the germs from hands and lead a hygienic life.

Q3. Who thought of washing hands?

A3. Ignac Semmelweis – Father of Hand Hygiene

We hope this blog provides you with all the relevant information about Global Handwashing Day. Keep reading our trending events blogs on Leverage Edu to stay informed about the news and important days in the world of education!

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