Global Handwashing Day
October 15th, 2010

On October 15th 2010, over 85 countries will be joining together to celebrate the third annual Global Handwashing Day. Why? Because handwashing with soap has been proven to:
    reduce the risk of diarrhoeal diseases up to 50% [1-2];
    protect against respiratory infection, reducing risk by an estimated 23% [3];
    reduce the risk of pneumonia [4];
    protect against pandemic flu [5];
    reduce absenteeism amongst pupils [6].

Global Handwashing Day aims to motivate children to embrace and share proper handwashing practices, acting as agents of change. Educational settings provide an ideal environment in which to achieve this.
This year, the organisers of Global Handwashing Day in the UK are calling on teachers, parents and children to get involved.

100 Schools Survey

Children are encouraged to participate in Global Handwashing Day 2010 by reporting what they think about their school’s toilets and handwashing facilities, using an online survey. The survey is intended to provide a picture of school handwashing facilities from the perspective of pupils.
The survey takes under 10 minutes to complete and children who complete the survey before 12pm on Wednesday 13th October will also be given the chance to enter a prize draw. The survey is available at .

School Resources

Global Handwashing Day UK partners have compiled a variety of resources for use in schools, providing teachers with guidelines, ideas and inspiration, not only for Global Handwashing Day, but for hygiene promotion throughout the year.
The resources include lesson plans, games, posters and assembly plans and are available to download at

Primary School Competition

UK primary schools are invited to participate in an 'Artwork for Handwashing' competition, for the chance to win 2500. The competition encourages pupils to design artwork for their school toilets, to motivate others to wash their hands with soap.
The £2500 prize money can be used to improve the school handwashing facilities or for other school improvements.
The deadline for entries is 5pm on 24th September 2010. competition details are available at

Further information

nutlogo.jpgSupported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT)

 We are delighted to be supported in our campaign by the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The NUT are organising a one-day conference on health matters connected with school, at which School Councils and Global Handwashing Day will be represented, as part of the ongoing initiative to raise hand hygiene levels in schools and as part of the NUT's CPD programme. Click here for more information on the conference.

Thank you to the following Global Handwashing Day UK 2010 sponsors and partners:
Major sponsor of Global Handwashing Day UK 2010 and sponsor of the UK primary school competition  gsklogo150.jpg
Sponsor of the Global Handwashing Day UK 100 Schools Survey  kidiwashlogo150.jpg
Also sponsoring Global Handwashing Day UK 2010  lshtm2logo150.jpg

Global Handwashing Day UK partners include: Axiom Communications; Care Commission; City eHealth Research Centre; E-bug; GlaxoSmithKline; Health Protection Agency; International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene; Kiddiwash; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; PooP Creative; Sanofi Pasteur MSD; School Councils UK; Teal; Unilever; WaterAid; World Health Organization

1. Curtis V, Cairncross S. Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review. Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2003;3:275-81.
2. Ejemot R, Ehiri J, Meremikwu M, Critchley J. Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008(1).
3. Ensink J. Health impact of handwashing with soap. WELL Factsheets. London; 2004.
4. Luby S, Agboatwalla M, Feikin D, Painter J, Billhimer W, Altaf A, et al. Effect of handwashing on child health: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2005;366(9481):225-33.
5. Jefferson T, Foxlee R, Mar CD, Dooley L, Ferroni E, Hewak B, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses: systematic review. BMJ 2008;336:77-80.
6. Bowen A, Ma H, Ou J, Billhimer W, Long T, Ninz E, et al. A cluster-randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect of a handwashing promotion program in Chinese primary schools. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007; 76. (6):1166-73.