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The Global Handwashing Partnership

“WASH Viruses Away” on World Water Day

March 20, 2020

In honor of World Water Day, the Global Handwashing Partnership is pleased to announce our WASH Viruses Away campaign, which will run throughout 2020. The campaign will promote handwashing with soap to protect against the coronavirus and other respiratory diseases with the aim to catalyze good handwashing habits in the long-term.

The growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in public officials and mainstream media encouraging people to wash their hands with soap regularly. In an outbreak, people tend to wash their hands more frequently and thoroughly because they perceive themselves to be vulnerable to a dreaded disease. Yet there are often challenges and misconceptions in sustaining handwashing as a habitual practice beyond an outbreak, such as coronavirus.

In some parts of the world, knowledge around proper handwashing may be low, or access to proper handwashing facilities is lacking. According to the JMP Baseline Report, national averages of access to soap and water in households range from below 10% to nearly 100%. The more accessible water is, the more likely individuals are to wash hands with soap and water. Access to necessary supplies can facilitate handwashing practice. Likewise, the placement of such supplies can serve as a reminder to wash hands. Easily accessible handwashing infrastructure can make people 60% more likely to wash their hands.

Proper hand hygiene practices are especially critical in controlling viral infections, like COVID-19. As the name of the campaign states, handwashing with soap can literally wash viruses away. With the support of several partners, the Global Handwashing Partnership has released a new handwashing poster in time for World Water Day. Learn how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by downloading the poster here.

Join us on World Water Day by using the hashtags #SafeHands and #WASHVirusesAway. The Global Handwashing Partnership will continue to release materials as part of our WASH Viruses Away campaign throughout the year. Learn more at

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