why schools should participate in the Global Handwashing Day.

The hands being the most used body part makes it vulnerable to germs which are harmful organisms capable of causing illnesses, however, the use of soap and water is the best-known method of killing germs thereby, preventing sickness. The school is considered a child’s second home which is why any habit that will contribute to a healthier future should be encouraged as psychologists have confirmed the need to instil good habits in the early years of life to ensure it becomes a habit throughout life.  October 15 has been set aside as Global Handwashing Day, it is an avenue to remind the world about the importance of regular handwashing with soap and water and every school should see the need to participate as an opportunity to contribute towards a brighter future for the school community.

According to the WHO, 1.8million under-five children die annually from pneumonia and diarrhoea (top two killer diseases in children) however, contacting these diseases can be reduced to the barest minimum by regular handwashing as researches revealed diarrhoea could be reduced by 30%-45% while for pneumonia by 20%. Commemorating the global handwashing day is an annual opportunity to instil the handwashing habit in school children in order to reduce the rate at which they die from infectious diseases.
The saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ perfectly explains the need for teachers to practice regular handwashing. As surrogate parents, studies have shown children learn beyond classroom subjects from their teachers, as most school children tend to mimic their teacher’s behaviour. There is an essential need for teachers to continually practice good habits like regular handwashing and participation in the Global Handwashing Day is an occasion to promote such thereby, making it easier for children to emulate such acts.
The teacher’s hand also harbour germs which can make them sick when this happens, the school children and other staff members could also get infected. Such a scenario could be detrimental to the continuation of the educational system as the health of the entire school community is at stake. It also further reinforces the need to participate in the Global Handwashing Day as a means of upholding the act of regular hand washing.

The UNICEF explains handwashing could save lives than a single dose of vaccine or medical intervention, which shows there is a need to imbibe regular handwashing in children using the Global Handwashing Day as a pathway to achieve this. I am using this means to implore school owners to appreciate the significance of the day as this will reignite the urgent need to adopt regular handwashing as a way of life thereby, preventing the spread of transmittable diseases.

About the Author

Akinlabi Bisola has a Bachelors degree in Health Education and Masters Degree in Public Health Education. She is the founder of The Health Educator's Library Consultant and a Trained and certified first aider. She is a Social Media for Health and Development Expert (GHEL) as well as a Health Communication Expert (GHEL).
She runs a podcast called THEC with Bisola and a website called Thelbybisola.com

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