Handwashing Saves Lives
It is easy to take handwashing for granted. But this simple exercise in hygiene is a critical solution to improving health and saving lives.
About 1.7 million children under the age of five die each year as a result of diarrhea and pneumonia. Simple handwashing with soap has been proven to reduce the prevelance of both, while also improving the health of many more children who are otherwise unable to go to school because of illness.
Handwashing with soap is an effective and inexpensive way to improve health worldwide so that more children can go to school and parents can go to work to support their families.
On Global Handwashing Day, we would like to ask you a question:
How Do You Wash Your Hands?
It's more complicated than you might think!
Below, Degnet Simon, the manager of CAWST's WET Centre in Ethiopia, demonstrates how the WET Centres teach community-level health workers proper handwashing technique so that the health workers can spread that knowledge in their communities. Click here or on the image below to watch the short video.
CAWST and its Ethiopia WET Centre, which is run in partnership with the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church, has developed an education program called "WASH Awareness for Health Extension Workers", which the WET Centre implements across Ethiopia.
Simon says his role as WET Centre manager allows him to see how crucial handwashing is, and how important it is for handwashing knowledge to be improved.
"By including handwashing education in our WASH services, the WET Centre is helping to ensure health extension workers have the knowledge they need to improve community-level WASH conditions," he says.
"We teach people not only how to wash their hands properly, but also to do it at critical times: after using the toilet, before preparing food, before feeding children, before eating, after disposing of children's waste and after washing their child's body."
CAWST provides a wide range of free, open-content handwashing resources through our WASH Resources website.