Happy Global Handwashing Day!
Promoting proper hand washing habits using soap can be considered a “do-it-yourself” vaccine, as defined by Global Handwashing Day partners, and it can save millions of lives and promote a healthier way of life for children around the world!
Each year, millions of children under the age of five suffer and die from diarrheal and acute respiratory infections in developing countries. Good news is that the number of affected children can drastically be reduced with the simple habit of hand washing with soap! Along with other measures such as water purification or sanitary food handling, using soap while washing your hands can prevent the transmission of pathogens and be even more effective than a vaccine. Studies have shown that washing hands with soap after going to the bathroom, as well as before and after handling food can reduce the risk of diarrheal infections from 50% to 30%.Pueblo a Pueblo’s School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project is also taking action by focusing on promoting healthy habits among children in Santiago Atitlan! In celebration of the Global Handwashing Day, students from our partner schools participated in a series of fun, interactive activities. Children from kindergarten to sixth grade learned about the harmful effects of germs, the importance of using soap when washing their hands, and the different ways to improve their personal health habits. Pueblo a Pueblo’s activity coordinators used glitter to illustrate germs and their transmission, and how they can only be cleaned with soap!Healthy children equals happier kids who go to school and build a better future for themselves and for their community! On Global Handwashing Day, we are hoping to take one more steps towards a healthier future for Guatemalan children who are usually the first to be affected from waterborne diseases such as diarrhea.
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