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Global Handwashing Day

Photo: ©2012 Sandra Barrows/World Vision

Photo: ©2012 Sandra Barrows/World Vision

Today, October 15, is Global Handwashing Day!

Did you know that 1 trillion germs can live in just one gram of poop (that’s the weight of a paper clip)? That is just one of the many reasons why washing your hands with soap is so critical.

Here is why handwashing is so important, and why World Vision works hard to educate and equip communities to wash their hands:

– Washing hands with soap and water could reduce deaths associated with diarrhoeal diseases by up to an estimated 50 per cent.
– If everyone routinely washed their hands, an estimated one million deaths a year could be prevented.
– Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 per cent.
– The average individual swimmer (or bather) contributes at least 0.14 grams of faecal material to the water, usually within the first 15 minutes of entering.
– Frequent handwashing is a primary means of prevention and control of many infectious diseases – including the Ebola virus.

Did you know?

– Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than regular soap is. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents, making it harder to kills these germs in the future.
– In extremely poor conditions where there is not enough money to purchase soap, it is recommended to use clean and dried soil and ash in lieu of washing with water alone.
– Evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods.

By providing access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene training, World Vision is working to reduce the distances traveled by women and girls collecting water and decrease the susceptibility of pregnant women and young girls to waterborne diseases. Give now.

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