By Rotary Service and Engagement
According to the United Nations, three billion people live without basic handwashing facilities with soap and water available at home. In many parts of the world there is little or no awareness of good hygiene practices and their role in reducing the spread of disease.
Until just 170 years ago, many people thought infections were caused by foul, polluted air or ‘miasma’ according to the United Nations. In the mid-19th century, the work of military nurse Florence Nightingale and physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered how microbial infection works and found that handwashing with soap reduced the spread of deadly diseases. *
When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families. Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary members mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.
In some parts of the world there is little or no awareness of safe and healthy hygiene practices and their role in reducing the spread of disease. Even when people do have knowledge of safe hygiene behavior, they lack the soap, safe water and washing facilities they need to make changes to protect themselves and their community.
Washing your hands regularly with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub is essential to containing the spread of COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases. This World Water Day, which is celebrated on March 22, the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging everyone to show their best hand hygiene moments to fight COVID-19.
Share your moments on social media with #SafeHands on #WorldWaterDay.
Rotary International is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuously assessing the potential impact on operations, events, and members. Read the latest at: http://on.rotary.org/covid-19.