Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene this Global Handwashing Day 2022

On 15th October, Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity for us all to unite in recognition of the worldwide importance of hand hygiene. Initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership, the annual advocacy day is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to help prevent disease and save lives[1]. The theme of Global Handwashing Day 2022 is ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’, a reminder that we can all do our part when it comes to encouraging good hand hygiene behaviours.

The Global Handwashing Partnership is a coalition of international stakeholders and SC Johnson is proud to be a steering committee member. The Partnership brings us together with other key parties, including government agencies, multilateral organisations, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and commercial organisations like ourselves. Together, we support the Partnership in addressing crucial topics related to public health and handwashing as well as helping to facilitate important conversations which can help lead to global change.

Handwashing with soap is an easy and effective method of helping prevent infections; improving access to handwashing facilities and hygiene behaviours has the potential to drive great health benefits across the globe. Improved handwashing can lead to a decrease in loss of life and healthcare costs, as well as an increase in productivity[2] in both low and high-income countries around the world.

Our work with the Partnership

The Partnership draws on the expertise and experience of its members to propose practical solutions to health problems around the world. An example of the Partnership’s efforts include its work with bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to create guidelines for hand hygiene in public facilities and community settings.

We passionately believe that handwashing with soap and better universal hand hygiene has the potential to build global health and economic resilience against the spread of infections. The Covid-19 pandemic brought unprecedented attention to hand hygiene[3] and it is imperative that the energy from this is harnessed.

Since joining the Partnership in 2020, the role of SC Johnson has been to provide experience and expertise to support the development of global best practices. SC Johnson Professional has taken a lead role on behalf of the company bringing specific learnings, data and scientific evidence from studies it has carried out, but also from real-world customer interactions. As a global provider of professional skin care and cleaning solutions, SC Johnson Professional can provide insight into the impact that poor hand hygiene can have in workplaces and schools, for example. The Partnership recognises the importance of driving behaviour change in these spaces, and through participation in the Partnership’s steering committee, SC Johnson and SC Johnson Professional have supported the development of Think Tanks to address hand hygiene in public facilities, workplaces and schools.

Dr John Hines, SC Johnson Professional’s Global RD&E Director, works closely with the Global Handwashing Partnership steering committee. John commented: “Since becoming steering committee members of the Global Handwashing Partnership, we have been involved in a range of important discussions with other members about encouraging hand hygiene best practice and behaviour change. By creating Think Tanks and bringing together key stakeholders, the Partnership has been able to drive the conversation around hand hygiene in schools, workplaces and public facilities.”

Ron Clemmer, Secretariat Director of the Global Handwashing Partnership added: “The Partnership we have with SC Johnson is very much a collaborative one. They have been instrumental in helping us to drive crucial discussions around hand hygiene in public spaces.

“At the Global Handwashing Partnership, we work very closely with organisations such as UNICEF and the WHO so it’s really key to us that our steering committee members have the right experience, are experts in their field and that we share aligned objectives – SC Johnson, and SC Johnson Professional in particular, are exactly this and have provided invaluable insight throughout the past year.”

Uniting for Universal Hand Hygiene

SC Johnson is united in its belief in universal hand hygiene. Raising awareness of good hand hygiene behaviours beyond the home is vital to breaking chains of infection, and by raising this profile in the countries we operate, we can also support action across the globe.

John added: “Hand hygiene is something that is important for all of us – infections don’t discriminate and, as individuals no matter where we are, we are all susceptible. Uniting for universal hand hygiene means everyone practising the same preventative measures and looking after each other in the same way, all around the world.

“Each of us brings one piece of the whole – it isn’t enough for a facility manager to simply provide sanitiser stations, for example. We need to be driving awareness and best practice so that each individual understands the part they have to play in hand hygiene and in helping to prevent the spread of germs.”

Find our free hand hygiene resources and more information on best practice here.

Find out more about the Global Handwashing Partnership here.