Happy Global Handwashing Day from Action Against Hunger

Good handwashing practices help more kids reach their fifth birthdays.
Scene from Handwashing Day
A scene from 2010 Global Handwashing Day in Kenya. Photo: ACF-Kenya

October 15, 2012 is the fifth anniversary of Global Handwashing Day, which is a particularly special year because it marks a major goal in a child’s life- reaching their fifth birthday.  The importance of washing hands with soap cannot be overstated; research has shown that it is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhea and pneumonia which cause more than 3.5 million child deaths every year.

In celebration of more children reaching their firth birthday and living healthier lives, Action Against Hunger has expanded Global Handwashing Day into a week of festivities around Aweil East, South Sudan with events at our Outpatient Treatment Programs, partner Primary Health Care Centers, and multiple primary schools. The events will culminate on Global Handwashing Day with a major event in Malualkon town for 4,000 area residents, complete with guests of honor, songs, skits, demonstrations, a market clean up and even a “make your own tippy-tap” booth! 

Students have taken the messages they learned through our Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (CHAST) sessions to prepare unique and interactive ways to share their knowledge with their community.  Koncibek school students have combined traditional Dinka music with hygiene messages to create catchy tunes. Students from Matong primary have planned a skit in which they will play the parts of the “f-diagram” of disease transmission and demonstrate to the community the ways in which handwashing can stop the spread of disease. Dokkul school students have chosen to lead the crowd through the steps of proper handwashing and plan to set a record for the largest group of people washing their hands in Malualkon town. Happy Global Handwashing Day from South Sudan!

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About Deepa Patel

Deepa Patel

Deepa is our Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program Manager in Malualkon, South Sudan.