International Campaign Days

Global Handwashing Day on 15/10.

Effective health protection in a few seconds


Washing and disinfecting hands in everyday life!

Actually, there is no easier way to protect your health: Washing your hands can effectively help combat infectious diseases. And if soap is not enough, disinfectants can help. When? See for yourself…

Do you know where your hands have been today? And also that, in addition to COVID-19, many other contagious diseases are transmitted via the hands? Then you probably also know how to protect yourself and your fellow human beings very simply and effectively from dangerous viruses, bacteria and fungi in everyday life: by washing your hands. And that's the good thing: when it comes to protecting yourself from infections, the simplest solution is also one of the best. And you have it in your own hands!

Global Handwashing Day on 15 October

The Global Handwashing Day aims in the same direction: "Our Future is at Hand - Let's Move Forward Together" is the motto of this year's worldwide day of action. After one and a half years of pandemic with its ubiquitous hygiene requirements, the day of action on 15 October wants to draw attention to the enormous importance of hand hygiene in private and public environments with virtual events and campaigns in social networks such as Twitter and Facebook! And it wants to raise awareness - as good advice for the "new normal" with COVID-19 - of the importance of washing hands with soap.

In everyday life: When is washing hands with soap enough?

The HARTMANN SCIENCE CENTER has developed a poster for the day of action. It clearly explains in which everyday situations washing hands with soap is sufficient. It also explains when it makes sense to disinfect your hands. You can print out the poster yourself and hang it up at your workplace on the day of action! For example, you should always wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, before a meal or after blowing your nose. The same applies before washing your face and after using the toilet. This also applies when entering the home from outside and after touching a (healthy) pet. When washing, it is important to soap your hands completely, including the fingertips and thumb. If done thoroughly, this will take at least half a minute, but not much longer!

In these cases, it is better to use a disinfectant

In general, washing hands with soap is sufficient for private use. However, there are also situations where disinfecting your hands with the help of a disinfectant can be useful. In addition, the use of a hand disinfectant is gentler on the skin than frequent hand washing with soap! As a rule, it is advisable to disinfect your hands in the case of a transmissible disease in your own household - a cold is enough! - or when caring for relatives or friends. It is also advisable in case of possible contact with pathogens (e.g. sick animals) or people at risk of infection (e.g. immunodeficiency).

Global Handwashing Day & other UN initiatives

Global Handwashing Day has existed since 2008 and takes place annually on 15 October. It is aimed at all adults and children, but especially at kindergartens, schools, old people's homes, hospitals and all other health care facilities. The day of action is organised by the Global Handwashing Partnership. This is an international initiative supported by institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC/USA) and different companies. The day of action in October complements other United Nations (UN) initiatives on hand hygiene: for example, every year on 5 May - the date symbolises the five fingers of both hands - the "World Hand Hygiene Day" is celebrated, which was initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO and UNICEF also launched the global "Hand Hygiene for All" initiative last year. It sees hand hygiene as a task for society as a whole. Its goal is to provide even the poorest and thus most vulnerable communities with the necessary means to protect their health. Everyone should have easy access to water and soap in their home environment and make hand washing a regular routine!

Simple: Join in and think about it

Fortunately, that is not the problem in Europe: so it is now up to you. Protect yourself by cleaning your hands thoroughly on a regular basis. And protect those around you, in your family and at work. It does not take long. And the seconds of practising hand hygiene are important: they could be the seconds that save a life! Depending on the situation and availability, you can use soap or a disinfectant. Our action day poster, which you are welcome to hang up in the corridors, offices, toilets or kitchen of your workplace, shows you exactly when. Thank you!

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