In Indonesia, handwashing stations represent an important resource to reduce disease transmission. Photo credit: USAID/IUWASH PLUS

Clean Hands Save Lives

Sustaining Positive Handwashing Behavior Change During COVID-19 and Beyond by Stephanie Mork, USAID Bureau for Global Health

When the world was thrown into the unknown at the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, one thing remained true: handwashing is our first line of defense against the spread of infectious diseases. With nearly 2.3 billion people worldwide lacking access to clean water and soap in their homes, efforts to support communities and health facilities access handwashing resources became more important than ever.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals have continued to reiterate the message that handwashing can help prevent illness. With such a focus on improving hygiene behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many communities have been able to improve handwashing to prevent not only COVID-19 infection, but other infectious diseases as well.

USAID has been a critical part of the effort to improve handwashing in homes, communities, and health care facilities worldwide since the start of the pandemic.

Read the full article on Global Waters Stories on Medium and check out USAID's 2021 Global Handwashing Day Social Media Toolkit.

Global Waters Article
Publication Date
Author credits
Stephanie Mork
Related Countries