Theodora Adomako-Adjei || Head of Extension Services Community Water and Sanitation Agency

Global Handwashing Day provides a platform for advocacy and action towards increased access and practice of handwashing with soap. The theme for this year‘s GHD is “Our Future Is At Hand- Let’s Move Forward Together”.  

The theme calls for the recognition of hand hygiene as a fundamental component of health and public safety. It also calls for coordinated and collective action to promote hand hygiene to ensure that everyone has access to hand hygiene facilities.

#OurFutureAtHand calls on everyone to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene and make a commitment to shift awareness on handwashing with soap towards sustained behaviour change.

#OurFutureAtHand means adopting handwashing as a personal habit.  Handwashing is one of the healthiest personal habits you can adopt to protect your health and the health of those around you. Wash your hands to protect yourself and your loved ones.

#OurFutureAtHand means making handwashing a public behavior. It’s time we moved handwashing from home to the public space.  There is the need to promote and maintain handwashing as a public behavior to ensure that everyone commits to washing their hands everywhere they go.  As a result, more handwashing facilities should be provided in public spaces so that hand hygiene can remain a priority outside the home.

All the handwashing facilities provided at public spaces should be forever maintained and well managed to ensure that they always have water and soap for use by the public. All public, private and commercial buildings like schools, health care facilities, offices, lorry parks, airports, malls, markets, shops, places of worship among others should always have functioning hand hygiene facilities. Everyone should make effort to promote and practice handwashing both inside and outside the home.

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#OurFutureAtHand means advancement of Public-Private-Partnership for Hand Hygiene.  This is aimed at harnessing and combining the expertise and resources of the private sector with the public health objectives and capacities of government to reduce the spread of diseases.

Everyone has a role to play, Our Future At Hand is a call on the media, private businesses, development partners, decision-makers,  NGOs, institutions, researchers, academics, religious leaders, celebrities, education officials, government, etc. to promote hand hygiene  for a better future where public health is protected.

#OurFutureAtHand means reimagining the future. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought global attention to the critical role hand hygiene plays in the prevention of the spread of diseases. The focus is now shifting towards wearing of mask and vaccination. Handwashing must still remain as an indispensable prevention measure while vaccines are being rolled out. We should reimagine the new normal as we move beyond the pandemic. 

As a country we have to build resilience against future outbreaks and therefore everybody should support the efforts towards the sustainability of a culture of hand hygiene in Ghana. The several hand hygiene interventions initiated in the past year should not fizzle out with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The momentum must be maintained to make handwashing a daily priority and also strive for universal access to hygiene services in all settings beyond COVID-19.

“Our Future Is At Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together”. Everyone should take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rally around this global goal and achieve what is most needed to save lives today and in the future.

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The power to save lives is in your hands. Hand hygiene for all starts with you. Choose Handwashing not only on Global Handwashing Day but every day.

Let’s move forward together to take action and ensure that everyone is able to practice hand hygiene. 

AMA GHANA is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website.

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