About Global Handwashing Day

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day.

Global Handwashing Day is an annual 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. It is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

Since the first Global Handwashing Day in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, built sinks and tippy taps, and have demonstrated the simplicity and value of clean hands.

Global Handwashing Day is designed to:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap

Global Handwashing Day was first launched in 2008, with over 120 million children in more than 70 countries around the world washing their hands with soap. Since then, every year on October 15 more and more community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, and to demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands. The day was originally created for children and schools, but can be celebrated by anyone promoting handwashing with soap. Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. We host Global Handwashing Day planner's tools, handwashing  information, responses to frequently asked questions, and an interactive map showcasing Global Handwashing Day events from around the world to help you learn more, find out how you can participate, and prepare to have a fantastic Global Handwashing Day, wherever you are in the world. 

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