Hand washing is an important part of cleanliness. In addition to keeping the environment clean, hand washing or keeping hands clean is essential for the development of a healthy state. Basically, by washing the hands, the impurity of the individual's senses is removed and the welfare of the family, society, the state and the country is achieved. Anything that is unpleasant, ugly to our senses is unpleasant and unacceptable. Therefore, World Hand Washing Day has become a necessity in preventing covid-19 consciously, not as a one-way message, but as a multi-faceted campaign and practical application.
The first and foremost reason for the celebration of World Hand Washing Day on October 15, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden was the creation of global public awareness. Basically, to support and introduce a common and universally accepted culture of hand washing with soap for all societies in all countries. The UN General Assembly later decided to observe the date every year. Like other countries, Bangladesh has been celebrating Hand Washing Day on October 15. This time the theme is - "Our Future is at Hand - Let's Move Forward Together."
The most used organ of the human body is the hand. The use of hands in daily work is the most. Therefore, the risk of infection with other viruses, including corona, is increasing worldwide. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) and public health experts have advised people to wash their hands and use hand soap and water to protect them from infection while maintaining social distance.
The people of Bangladesh are now more interested in hand washing than ever before, especially during the Corona period. According to the MICS (Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey) survey, the number of people in Bangladesh who used to wash their hands with soap and water in 2012-2013 was 59.1%. In 2019, the amount stood at 74.8 percent. At present, less than 25 percent of people do not wash their hands. However, the World Health Organization says that if hands are dirty, they should be washed with soap and water. If you do not see dirt on your hands, you should wash your hands frequently with alcohol-rich hand rub (hand sanitizer) or soapy water.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-6) emphasize ensuring safe water and sanitation for all. In this regard, various initiatives are being taken at different levels of government and private sector to achieve the target. Bangladesh has made significant progress in safe water and sewerage system. The rate of open defection has come down to almost zero, which has been praised all over the world. Earlier people used to collect drinking water from ponds but now most people collect drinking water from tube wells. In this case, Bangladesh has been 97 percent successful.
Extensive progress has been made in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has received the 'SDG Progress Award' for Bangladesh's achievement of sustainable development from 2015 to 2020 in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. An important term in SDGs is 'Inclusion for All'. That means no one can be left out. For this special attention has been paid to remote coastal areas, chars, haors, hilly areas, urban slum dwellers and low income people. To bring backward people under safe water and sanitation. Special arrangements have been made for the physically challenged. In this case, it is important to create awareness among all.
Hand washing is a part of life. In today's corona situation, hand washing should not be considered as an isolated practice but should be accepted as an inclusive practice in daily life. According to the World Health Organization, hand washing is recommended in 6 steps. Basically, first soak your hands in clean water and rub the back of your hands, palms and fingers with soap, and rub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Then rub both hands well with each other and then wash your hands with clean water. Finally, wipe well with a dry cloth or tissue.
There are many plans at the private level as well as the government involved in achieving the SDGs. The government has been cooperating in various ways in the areas of safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to ensure safe water and sanitation for all, as well as to seriously pursue the Sustainable Development Goal 6 . In this case, everyone's awareness is absolutely necessary, only then the World Handwashing Day will be successful.
Professor Ragnar Nurkse said, 'The vicious cycle of poverty is the aggregation of some forces that keep a country poor through interaction with each other. 'Which is a big obstacle in the way of development of the country. Similarly, sustainable development is not possible if hand washing is not included in the inclusive program. Because, only a healthy nation can take a country out of poverty and move forward on the path of sustainable development.
Afroza Nice Rimais aSenior Information Officer,PID,Bangladesh Secretariat,Dhaka.