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hands save the world


As the ongoing threat of a possible H1N1 pandemic continues, the practice of handwashing with soap once again tops the international hygiene agenda, with the second annual Global Handwashing Day slated for October 15, 2009.

Initiated in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, Global Handwashing Day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, private companies and individuals around the globe.

Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. In developed countries, it is also the most effective preventative of many infectious diseases from the common cold to deadly influenzas. Handwashing with water only is not an effective preventative, but soap and water are highly effective.

For detailed information on Global Handwashing Day, see: