On October 15, the world observes Global Handwashing Day to raise awareness and better understand the importance of hand hygiene in keeping you safe and healthy.

The 2021 Global Handwashing Day theme is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.” With that said, education around good hygiene through handwashing with soap has never been more vital with the world navigating their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, 443 million school days are lost worldwide due to water-related illnesses and lack of hand hygiene, according to Wateraid.

SPARK scholars have taken it upon themselves to educate their peers and communities by demonstrating the crucial habits of good hand hygiene. 

Aisha Mahlangu of SPARK Cresta says handwashing education can reduce the number of young children who get sick and help prevent school absenteeism.
Kaedon Campbell of SPARK Cresta says thorough handwashing with soap and water can protect you and others from a range of infectious diseases and shares steps to follow when washing hands.

Five easy steps to good handwashing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Co-founder and CEO of SPARK Schools Stacey Brewer said, “the role of handwashing has been accentuated as one of the crucial defences against the Coronavirus. This has been a stark reminder to our scholars and the rest of the community that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a virus is also one of the simplest: hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap”. 

“To beat the virus today and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, handwashing with soap must be continue to be a priority,” concludes Brewer.

Watch a video of Kaedon Campbell, a Grade 7 SPARK Cresta scholar demonstrating the correct way to wash your hands and his views on why handwashing is important.

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