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What you didn’t know about Global Hand Washing Day

By Naseerah Nanabhai
15:10:2021

The 15th of October is a global day dedicated to creating awareness about the importance of washing our hands with soap. The attention is not only aimed at reducing the transmission of diseases but also promoting good hygiene.

The first global handwashing day was on the 15th of October 2008, and since last year it has gained widespread popularity as part of slowing the transmission of COVID-19.

Hand hygiene has never been more critical, and it is the most crucial advice issued by WHO during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the day, hands that touch contaminated surfaces can transmit germs to other surfaces or directly to others. Here are some crucial times to remember to wash your hands:

  • Always wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Always wash your hands before and after eating food.
  • Always wash your hands before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • Always wash your hands before, before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • Always wash your hands before changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
  • Always wash your hands before, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Always wash your hands before, after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
  • Always wash your hands before, after handling pet food or pet treats.
  • Always wash your hands before, after touching garbage.

While these are the most common times to remember to wash your hands, other instances that may occur are also important. Global handwashing day calls all South Africans to wash their hands regularly and promote the importance of clean hands.

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