Increasing Handwashing Awareness and Understanding

Global Handwashing Day 2021 is on October 15th. It is a global advocacy day that increases awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, and since then, it has continued to grow.

The learnings throughout COVID-19 have emphasized the need for collective action to address the neglect of hand hygiene investments, policies, and programs. As we enter a new normal, beyond COVID-19, our future is at hand. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to involve everyone in encouraging people to wash their hands at critical times.

Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together

The Global Handwashing Day theme for 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together”. It calls for coordinated action as we actively work toward universal hand hygiene.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the critical role hand hygiene plays in the transmission of the virus. Therefore, this year’s theme is a call to action which asks us to leverage experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter a new normal beyond COVID-19, the future state of hygiene is in our hands. A lot has been learned about promoting hand hygiene at scale, but much work is needed for the current momentum to be sustained.

No matter your role, you can celebrate Global Handwashing Day!

Take Action

Global Handwashing Day encourages everyone to take part!  Learn how to plan an event to celebrate Global Handwashing Day in your school, community, or country here. Or share handwashing messages via social media by downloading their Social Media Toolkit here.

It’s important to remember the Global Handwashing Day is a once-a-year opportunity to promote handwashing with soap. However, the work should not end there. Find out how you can take your handwashing promotion efforts Beyond Global Handwashing Day here!


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