Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent infectious diseases.
This simple behaviour can save lives, cutting deaths associated with diarrhoea by almost one-half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter.
All the people around the world wash their hands with water, but they do not habitually wash hands with soap at the time when they surely need to wash hands with soap after using toilet, washing children, before preparing foods and having meals.
According to information available, pneumonia and diarrhoea kill well over ten million children under five every year.
Under the circumstances, handwashing with soap can prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of deaths of children under five.
Handwashing with soap is the most effective method of reducing such diseases as diarrhoea, parasitosis and acute respiratory infections which threaten human lives, and that with flowing water may produce greater effects in preventing such diseases than vaccination and other medical intervention.
Accordingly, the Global Handwashing Partnership initiated the first Global Handwashing Day on October 15 2008, mobilizing 120 million children in 73 countries to wash their hands with soap.
Today, Global Handwashing Day is endorsed and commemorated by governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and communities around the globe.
Annual Global Handwashing Day provides children, teachers, parents, personages and government officials with an opportunity to advocate and raise awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap
In particular, unprecedented attention is directed to the importance of handwashing for preventing diseases amid the spread of COVID-19 which is the global pandemic.
The theme of this year’s Global Handwashing Day is “Our Future is at Hand-Let’s Move Forward Together”.
Marking the day, seminar, photo and picture exhibitions and a variety of other information activities related to water sanitation and handwashing have been conducted in the DPRK since 2011 to raise social awareness of the health and welfare of women and children.
Handwashing places were built in dozens of educational institutions in North Hwanghae, South Hamgyong and other provinces to raise the awareness of handwashing method. A gravity-fed water supply system was built in different areas so that kindergartens, schools, clinics and other educational and public health institutions and residents in those areas could always be supplied with good quality water.
In addition, the importance of handwashing in preventing diseases is widely publicized throughout society through mass media and children are encouraged to wash their hands with soap since their childhood so as to make it their daily routine and habit.