The most effective and least expensive way to reduce disease and save lives is easier than you think. Simply washing your hands with soap and water can do more to prevent diarrhea, death by malnutrition, and dehydration than any single vaccine or medical intervention, according to scientific studies.
On 15 October, Global Handwashing Day, millions of people in more than 100 countries will take part in activities promoting this practice. Rotary brings its own expertise and diverse perspectives to such efforts by providing access to clean water and sanitation.
Rotary members in Argentina and Georgia, USA, have been working together since 2009 on the Better Health Through Better Hygiene project. Clubs provide books and personal hygiene kits to kindergarten and first-grade students in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. They also supply teachers with posters and manuals to help them promote better hygiene, as well as equipping the schools with soap, hand sanitizer, and dispensers to encourage regular hand washing at school.
In the Dominican Republic, Rotary clubs launched an ambitious campaign to teach the importance of hand washing to schoolchildren. A live, one-hour program will be televised across the country on Global Handwashing Day. Public service announcements on the radio, on television, and in newspapers, funded by a Rotary Foundation grant, will also promote this health initiative.
Learn more about Rotary’s work in water and sanitation.