Come October 15 and all schools in Jharkhand will observe Global Hand-Washing Day.The theme is ‘Make hand-washing a habit!’.
“While habits must be developed over time, this year’s theme emphasizes the importance of hand-washing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability”,said a report prepaared by UNICEF,Jharkhand.
As it is,global hand-washing day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand-washing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. “This is also an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times”,said UNICEF in its statement released to mediapersons in Ranchi on Thursday.
Why Hand-washing Important?
- Hand-washing, accessible action can, according to research, reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 25 and 50 per cent, respectively. About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world. Hand-washing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhoea and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia. (Source: UNICEF)
- Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively. Hand-washing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance. Good hand-washing early in life may help improve child development in state like Jharkhand.
- Hand-washing is equally important in health facilities. Across all settings, patients can acquire bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, chest/respiratory infections or gastrointestinal infections. (Source: WHO)
- In households practice of hand washing with soap is limited at critical times such as after defection and before taking meals. This needs to be re-in forced.
Role of SBM
- Currently use of toilets are being promoted in Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and it would be timely to emphasize on the importance of hand-washing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
What needs to be done?
- Local Bodies such as Panchayat, Urban bodies should be included in the campaign
- Poster, slogans, songs and painting exhibition should be arranged among children
- Civil Society actors NGOs, CBOs and Influential individual should be involved in promotion of hand-washing at critical times
- Advocacy for group hand-washing stations in all schools to be done.
Celebration in schools:
- Jharkhand children will celebrate the Global Hand washing day by doing the proper hand washing before MDM on 15thOct across the state. Schools will also organise pledge for hand-washing and school based events such on quiz, poster competition etc.
- Child cabinet in schools will be oriented (Swachhtamantri) on sanitation and hygiene so that they can monitor the hand-washing in their schools before MDM.
*Representational Picture Courtesy UNICEF