the VOA Special English Health Report.
October fifteenth, is the first Global Handwashing Day. Activities are planned
in more than twenty countries to get millions of people in the developing world
to wash their hands with soap.
example, private donors will give one hundred fifty thousand bars of soap to
schools in Ethiopia. The Education Ministry wants one million schoolchildren to
wash their hands for Wednesday's event.
say people around the world wash their hands but very few use soap at so-called
critical moments. These include after using the toilet, after cleaning a baby
and before touching food.
Handwashing Day is the idea of the Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
with Soap. Partners include the United Nations Children's Fund, American
government agencies, the World Bank and soap makers Unilever and Procter and
Gamble. The goal, they say, is to create a culture of hand washing with soap.
organizers say all soaps are equally effective at removing disease-causing
germs. They say the correct way to wash is to wet your hands with a small
amount of water and cover them with soap. Rub it into all areas, including
under the fingernails. Rub for at least twenty seconds.
rinse well under running water. Finally, dry your hands with a clean cloth or
wave them in the air.
Partnership for Handwashing says soap is important because it increases the
time that people spend washing. Soap also helps to break up the grease and dirt
that hold most of the germs. And it usually leaves a pleasant smell, which
increases the likelihood that people will wash again.
partnership says washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet
could save more lives than any vaccine or medicine. It could help reduce cases
of diarrhea by almost half. And it could reduce deaths from pneumonia and other
breathing infections by one-fourth.
is the second leading cause of child deaths, killing more than one and a half
million children a year. Pneumonia is the leading cause, killing about two
million children under five each year. Hand washing can also prevent the spread
of other diseases.
people get germs on their hands, they can infect themselves by touching their
eyes, nose or mouth. Then they can infect others.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. For a
link to a Handwashing Handbook in English, Spanish, French and Swahili, go to
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.