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Global Handwashing Day, October 15

Announcing the 2016 Global Handwashing Day Theme: Make Handwashing a Habit!

June 21, 2016

The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2016 is “Make handwashing a habit!”

For handwashing to be effective it must be practiced consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasizes the importance of handwashing as a ritual behavior for long-term sustainability. Habit formation is currently a hot topic in behavior change and the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. This theme taps into that interest and is also a gateway to discussing what the sector knows about how habits are formed.

This theme will drive messaging and events around the world, but it can also be modified for specific contexts if organizations would like to highlight the specific impact of handwashing on key areas, such as a nutrition or education. For instance, an organization could say “Make handwashing a habit because it prevents diarrhea!” or “Make handwashing a habit because it impacts nutrition!”

To help support event organizers, the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing will publish an updated Planner’s Guide, develop a social media toolkit, and coordinate planning calls. To stay up-to-date on Global Handwashing Day plans, or questions about the day, please contact us.

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