Did You Celebrate Global Handwashing Day?

Oct 17, 2011, 4:48 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

Across the globe on October 15, children and international health organizations celebrated Global Handwashing Day with educational events, school handwashing competitions – and plenty of handwashing videos. Since its inception in 2008, which was designated as the International Year of Sanitation by the United Nations General Assembly, Global Handwashing Day has been reinforcing the call for improved hygiene practices worldwide.

Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together are responsible for the majority of global child deaths. Every year, more than 3.5 million

children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia.

Handwashing is a serious issue, but videos from across the world aim to make handwashing fun for kids. View a sampling of videos, from silly to serious, below.

This video from the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing offers a look at handwashing from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

UNICEF posted this video by Rose Akwasi, age 19, from the Solomon Islands, asking, "Do you know where those hands have been?"

In past years, UNICEF recruited the popular Australian children's music entertainers, The Wiggles, to spread the message of clean hands:

UNICEF Japan also used dance and song to show kids how to wash their hands properly, with a dance choreographed by renowned Japanese dancer Kaiji Moriyama. The dance has almost no verbal instruction, making it easy for children of any age to learn the steps for proper handwashing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer more resources on handwashing here.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.