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A message from the Global Handwashing Partnership Director

October 15, 2023

By: Ron Clemmer, Global Handwashing Partnership 

As the secretariat director of the Global Handwashing Partnership, I have heard many hand hygiene stories over the years. These stories highlight the critical importance of good hand hygiene and also the many challenges we face in reaching universal hand hygiene.  

There are countless stories of communities lacking water, soap, or a sink to wash their hands. Ensuring proper hand hygiene facilities is the first step to promoting hand hygiene in these settings. However, access alone cannot achieve our goals. A few years ago, I heard an international development professional make an impassioned statement about the need for handwashing for mothers in villages around the world. She then added that she had a baby at home and she was just too busy to wash her hands at every single time she should. She had all of the convenience and resources for washing hands in her home, but it can still be a hassle to have good hand hygiene. This story highlights the importance of our efforts to change hand hygiene behavior for all of us. 

This year’s Global Handwashing Day theme, “Clean Hands are Within Reach,” emphasizes that we all have to work together. Achieving universal hand hygiene requires a strong enabling environment, access to adequate and affordable hand hygiene facilities, and evidence-based behavior change programming. Last Wednesday, I moderated our annual Global Handwashing Day event where we shared some of what it takes to ensure clean hands are within reach. Check out the event recording below.



This Global Handwashing Day, let’s all join together to help make sure clean hands are with reach for everyone! For more information on handwashing beyond Global Handwashing Day, please visit our website at


Category: Community Forum

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