Global Handwashing Day

Help more children reach their fifth birthday:

Millions celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2012 worldwide




For the fifth consecutive year, on October 15, 2012, hundreds of millions of people around the world will celebrate Global Handwashing Day aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease.  Over the past five years, Global Handwashing Day has grown from a one-day celebration in a few cities to a worldwide movement that has mobilized significant investment in and political support for handwashing with soap.


This year we have much to celebrate. In 2011, 600,000 fewer children under five died than in 2008, the first year Global Handwashing Day was celebrated. Handwashing with soap has an important role to play in child survival and health. One of the most cost-effective interventions, simply handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by almost 50 percent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.


In 2012, Global Handwashing Day will share its fifth birthday with more than 121 million children who are also turning five this year.  The organization behind Global Handwashing Day, the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW), and its partners encourage everyone to join in our fifth birthday celebration and promote handwashing with soap.


Events will be held around the world to celebrate Global Handwashing Day including:

–          Attempt to set a record for the most people washing their hands at the same time in Latin America. Target: 1 million people.

–          Dirty Money; a microbiological investigation into the hygienic nature of currency in the UK.

–          Local and regional celebrities from sports, music, and politics lend their support to Global Handwashing Day in countries around the world.


This year Global Handwashing Day will also be celebrated virtually on Twitter and Facebook. The special 2012 hashtag for Global Handwashing Day is #iwashmyhands. Twitter users are encouraged to Tweet this hashtag in the lead up to and on Global Handwashing Day to raise awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap.


On October 1, the PPPHW will release a social media game available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Hindi: . This fun, interactive game educates players about hygiene and sanitation and allows them to share messages through their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Help us trend on Twitter by playing the game on Global Handwashing Day, October 15.


For more information on how you can celebrate Global Handwashing Day’s fifth anniversary, visit or

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