Importance of handwashing goes beyond the pandemic.

Promoting handwashing to keep diseases at bay

Every year 15th of October is celebrated as Global Handwashing Day. This global advocacy day is observed to sensitise people around the world and raise awareness about the fact that handwashing is the first step to keep diseases at bay and help save lives.

In the present times of the pandemic Covid-19, handwashing has become more important than ever. Using of soap for proper handwashing is the most basic and simple way of stopping the spread of this contagious disease. This year’s theme is Hand Hygiene for All is a step towards encouraging all sections of the society to adopt this simple habit to keep oneself safe.

Smile Foundation’s health vertical, Smile on Wheels which has been serving people across the country by providing basic healthcare facilities has worked towards sensitising people from the rural areas and urban slums to adopt this habit and stay healthy. Demonstrations of proper handwashing steps, educating people about the importance of using soaps, washing hands before and after food, using of sanitisers constitute the daily routine of IEC activities conducted by these healthcare workers.

Importance of handwashing

One of the most important aspects of raising awareness is to reach out to new and expecting mothers as they are the first point of contact for any child. In picture is a young mother from Eklingpura, Rajasthan. Healthcare workers reached out to young mothers like her to demonstrate the steps of proper handwashing to keep herself and her baby safe from diseases.

Handwashing among school children

It is important to inculcate the habit of handwashing in children. It is the best way to keep them from falling sick by stopping the spread of germs. In picture are children washing hands with soap before attending the cluster learning session at Koucha AFC centre of Smile Foundation at Koucha village in Burdwan.

In urban slums and rural areas healthcare workers from Smile on Wheels conduct sessions to encourage the communities to follow proper handwashing steps to improve their health status, reduce the chances of infections through unclean hand usage.

In many parts of the world and also in India the extent of desirable practices regarding hand washing is still lacking and needs to be emphasized hence it makes the observation of Global Handwashing Day all the more important. Let us pledge to adopt the policy of each one teach one and encourage and educate about handwashing to keep ourselves and the community safe.

To know more about Smile Foundation’s healthcare interventions visit https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/health-cannot-wait/

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Author

Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation is an NGO in India that directly benefits over 15,00,000 children and their families every year. We have more than 400 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women's empowerment in over 2,000 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India.

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