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The Global Handwashing Partnership

Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together

July 12, 2021

The Global Handwashing Partnership is thrilled to announce the theme of this year’s Global Handwashing Day, “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, unparalleled attention has been brought to the importance of handwashing for the prevention of disease. This international focus on hand hygiene can be used as a catalyst for the recognition of hand hygiene as a fundamental component of health and public safety.

However, the pandemic also highlighted stark disparities in access to hand hygiene facilities — 3 out of 10 people worldwide were unable to wash their hands within their homes because they did not have access to a hand hygiene facility (Joint Monitoring Program, 2021). The past year has emphasized the need for collective action to address the historic neglect of hand hygiene investments, policies, and programs once and for all. 

As the world gradually moves into a new normal beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, our future is at hand. Accelerating progress for universal hand hygiene requires all of society to move forward together. This Global Handwashing Day, we call on: 

  • Governments to develop and fund country roadmaps and national hygiene strategies toward universal hand hygiene. These need to include a combination of policy, regulation, and behavior change programs for hand hygiene. 
  • Donors to invest in national roadmaps, hygiene strategies, and research, as well as programs that are hygiene sensitive, promote behavior change, and drive hand hygiene habits.
  • Businesses to contribute toward resilient hand hygiene systems through partnerships, research, policies, financing, and innovative products and facilities, and promote hand hygiene within your workforce.
  • Institutions to prioritize hand hygiene infrastructure, policies, and behavior change programs within schools, healthcare facilities, workplaces, and public settings.
  • Researchers to make hand hygiene research publicly available and translate complex findings into easy-to-use guidance or recommendations for implementers.
  • Advocates to raise awareness on the importance of hand hygiene behavior change as an essential part of health and development to influence political buy in.

Coordinated and collective action is critical to the advancement of hand hygiene access. This Global Handwashing Day, our future is at hand – let’s move forward together.

For more information, please visit the Global Handwashing Day website here

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