#GlobalHandwashingDay October 15, 2018 COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA toolkit

Are you ready for #GlobalHandwashingDay 2018?


On Monday, October 15, join USAID and its partners in celebrating Global Handwashing Day. Now entering its 10th year, Global Handwashing Day increases awareness and understanding about the vital importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent the spread of illness and save lives.

The theme of this year’s observance, “Clean Hands—A Recipe for Health,” emphasizes the key role that handwashing plays in reducing the prevalence of diarrheal disease and increasing overall health. For that reason, USAID and local partners promote improved handwashing behavior—educating the public about the health benefits of regular handwashing with soap; encouraging handwashing behavior change; and improving handwashing infrastructure in schools, health facilities, businesses, and households around the world to help create healthier, more self-reliant communities.

Global Handwashing Day has grown since its inception in 2008, generating more events, campaigns, and social media outreach every year. This October, we hope you will consider becoming a champion of improved handwashing as well. To facilitate your participation in Global Handwashing Day 2018, this toolkit contains key handwashing facts; easily shareable social media content, including pictograms, tweets, and Facebook posts; and curated links to new research, multimedia resources, and additional background information.

Help us spread the word about how #USAIDTransforms lives and communities through the power of improved handwashing.

Key Handwashing Facts

Key Handwashing Facts

  • Millions of children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world. Handwashing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illness and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infections like pneumonia. (Source: CDC)
  • Handwashing with soap could prevent many of the 272 million yearly school days lost to diarrheal disease, and 50 percent of the infections acquired in health care settings. (Source: Global Handwashing Partnership)
  • The most critical junctures for handwashing are before preparing food and after going to the bathroom. Did you know only 20 percent of people wash their hands before preparing food? (Source: Global Handwashing Partnership)
  • Essential WASH actions, including handwashing with soap, treatment and safe storage of drinking water, and sanitary disposal of human feces, have been shown to effectively reduce the prevalence of diarrhea, a major contributor to workplace illnesses. Lack of sanitation in particular is strongly correlated with malnutrition and stunting. (Source: USAID)

USAID’s Role

USAID’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs and other development activities promote adoption of handwashing and other hygiene practices as key elements of programs for improved health and nutrition. Hygiene and handwashing behavior change are also highlighted in the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy.

How to Participate on Social Media

We encourage USAID bureaus, missions, and partners to use Global Handwashing Day as an opportunity to highlight your best examples of handwashing-related development activities. With Global Handwashing Day being celebrated on a Monday this year, online communications efforts will unfold across the entire preceding week. Social media posts and event announcements are encouraged throughout the week beginning Monday, October 8.

For all social media posts, please add the #GlobalHandwashingDay hashtag to your content. This will help connect USAID messaging to the broader online conversations surrounding Global Handwashing Day 2018. Please also consider tagging the following accounts in your social media messaging to amplify the reach of your content:

Pictograms to share for #GlobalHandwashingDay

Download pictograms on Google Drive.

Share the messages below on Twitter or Facebook, or create your own messages to celebrate #GlobalHandwashingDay.

Sample tweets

#GlobalHandwashingDay: In this new photo essay from @USAID, learn how #USAIDTransforms lives & communities around the world through the power of improved handwashing @USAIDGH @USAIDWater https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/global-handwashing-day-2018-clean-hands-a-recipe-for-health-1709923abf47

What’s a recipe for good health? Handwashing 👐 💧. Take a look at how #USAIDTransforms lives & communities around the world through the power of improved handwashing. https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/global-handwashing-day-2018-clean-hands-a-recipe-for-health-1709923abf47

Did you know Oct. 15 is #GlobalHandwashingDay? Find out more about how @USAID’s support for improved handwashing practices helps create healthier households & communities from Afghanistan to Guatemala #USAIDTransforms https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/global-handwashing-day-2018-clean-hands-a-recipe-for-health-1709923abf47

How often do you wash your hands? This #GlobalHandwashingDay, listen to @USAID’s Nga Nguyen & @HarvardHBS’s Reshmaan Hussam discuss innovative approaches for incentivizing #handwashing habits on @USAIDWater’s #GlobalWatersRadio: https://www.globalwaters.org/resource/articles/nga-nguyen-and-reshmaan-hussam-incentivizing-handwashing-habit-formation

Handwashing = improved overall health. How can we change handwashing behavior to change health outcomes? Join @HandwashingSoap for a #GlobalHandwashingDay webinar: https://www.globalwaters.org/resources/assets/norms-nudges-or-addiction-understanding-drivers-handwashing-behavior

#DYK handwashing w/ soap could prevent many of 270 million+ yearly school days lost to diarrheal disease & 50% of infections acquired in health care settings? Find out how @USAIDGH @USAIDWater are making a difference #USAIDTransforms #GlobalHandwashingDay https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/global-health/maternal-and-child-health/technical-areas/water-sanitation-hygiene-wash

Sample Facebook posts

Can handwashing be a recipe for good health? YES. Explore how #USAIDTransforms communities through handwashing in this @GlobalHandwashingDay photo essay from @USAID’s Global Waters Stories. https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/global-handwashing-day-2018-clean-hands-a-recipe-for-health-1709923abf47

Monday October 15th is @GlobalHandwashingDay! Good handwashing habits start at home, which is why it is important for parents to teach their children about regular handwashing with soap. Good handwashing practices could help prevent the 1.7 million child deaths that occur each year from diarrhea and pneumonia—sicknesses that hinder the development of children's minds, bodies, and immune systems. Here’s how @USAID is making a difference: https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/global-health/maternal-and-child-health/technical-areas/water-sanitation-hygiene-wash

Did you know only 20% of people wash their hands before preparing food? How about you? On @GlobalHandwashingDay, listen to a Global Waters Radio podcast featuring @USAID’s Nga Nguyen and @HarvardBusinessSchool’s Reshmaan Hussam, as they discuss how to develop healthier handwashing habits. https://www.globalwaters.org/resource/articles/nga-nguyen-and-reshmaan-hussam-incentivizing-handwashing-habit-formation

Studies have found a direct link between increased #handwashing and improved overall health. But how can we most effectively change handwashing behavior? Celebrate @GlobalHandwashingDay this October 15th by diving into the details with this webinar from the Global Handwashing Partnership: https://www.globalwaters.org/resources/assets/norms-nudges-or-addiction-understanding-drivers-handwashing-behavior

Additional Resources

Additional Handwashing Content and Resources from USAID and Partners

  • Explore a series of resources produced by the USAID-supported Global Handwashing Partnership, including a Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide, a Global Handwashing Day Resources Hub, and a Social Media Toolkit containing promotional resources, sample social media messaging, infographics, facts and figures, and more.
  • View USAID’s new photo essay, “Global Handwashing Day 2018: Clean Hands—A Recipe for Health” in USAID’s Global Waters Stories on Medium.
  • Listen to USAID’s handwashing-themed Global Waters Radio podcast, “Nga Nguyen and Reshmaan Hussam on Incentivizing Handwashing Habit Formation,” featuring Nga Nguyen, Senior Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Social Behavior Change Advisor at USAID’s Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition
  • Browse USAID’s Globalwaters.org knowledge hub to find technical resources, research, and stories related to handwashing, hygiene behavior change, and improved sanitation.
  • Dive into the details and watch a recent handwashing webinar, “Norms, Nudges, or Addiction: Understanding Drivers for Handwashing Behavior.”
  • Review a comprehensive bibliography of handwashing research in this Water Currents newsletter
  • Read a blog detailing the history of USAID’s relationship with the Global Handwashing Partnership
  • Check out a hygiene-themed photo gallery on USAID’s Global Waters Flickr site
  • Visit the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene homepage on USAID.gov to learn more about USAID WASH programming
Where to Find Us

Where to Find Us

Twitter | @USAIDGH or @USAIDWater

Facebook | @USAID or @USAIDGH

Web | Globalwaters.org

Flickr | USAID Images or USAID Global Waters

Created By
USAID Water Team

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