Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day is 15 October.

Handwashing with water and soap is a 'do-it-yourself' vaccine. with water and soap, handwashing cuts the incidence of diahrroea by nearly half.

Global Handwashing Day (15 October) is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands at critical times.  


The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2018 is clean hands - a recipe for health. It reminds us that handwashing with soap is a vital part of cooking, eating and feeding others. 

There are two ideas of ways you can get involved this year.

1. Assess and update your own behaviour. Do you wash your hands with soap at these times? Do your co-workers, your families? Reflect and reinforce these behaviours as part of your Global Handwashing Day observations: 

  • Wash your hands with soap at critical times, especially before eating, cooking, or feeding others. 
  • Model good handwashing behavior, and remind or help others to always wash their hands before eating.
  • Make handwashing part of your family meals
  • Establish places to wash your hands in the household, in your community, in schools, workplaces, and in health facilities. 
  • Promote effective handwashing behavior change in research, policy, programs, and advocacy. 
2. Host a local event. Use this planning guide as a resource to plan a local event. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.




The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2017 is "Our Hands, Our Future."

In honour of Global Handwashing Day, World Vision, together with our partner, Sesame Workshop (the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street) hosted a webinar on Wednesday, 11 October, to learn about the WASHUP! programme. WASH UP! is a multi-media, school- and centre-based programme that uses engaging learning and teaching materials to educate children and caregivers about positive health behaviours related to water, sanitation and hygiene.

During the webinar, we heard from Abby Bucuvalas, Senior Director of Educational Programs, International Social Impact, Sesame Workshop as well as from World Vision Zambia and World Vision Lebanon, two countries who are currently implementing WASHUP!

link to the webinar recording.  

Link to the presentation by Sesame Workshop

Link to the presentation by WV Lebanon

Link to the presentation by WV Zambia

Other Global Handwashing Day Resources:

Q&A about Global Handwashing Day and the partnership between World Vision and Sesame Workshop.

Photo essay about the WASHUP! programme working with Syrian refugee children.

Learn more about World Vision's partnership with Sesame Workshop, including this NEW VIDEO about WASHUP! in Lebanon. 

Check out our blog for some great new posts in honour of Global Handwashing Day.

Visit the Global Handwashing Day website.

Check out this video from World Vision Afghanistan, featuring children demonstrating proper handwashing technique.


Learn more about the importance of hygiene and World Vision's approach.