Global Handwashing Day

Jasminka Criley, MD, FACP, FHM
Jasminka Criley, MD, FACP, FHM

Co-Founder & CEO

A community event on hand hygiene training with proper technique.

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated every year on October 15th.

Its goal is to raise awareness and promote the importance of handwashing with soap to prevent many transmissible diseases and save lives. Global Handwashing Day is one of the most important public health days in the world.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) in 2008.

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated by 200 million people in over 100 countries.

What is the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP)?

The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP), is a public-private coalition of more than 200 organizations. These include government agencies, multilateral organizations, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions around the world. Some of the most notable members of GHP include:

  • African Development Bank
  • American Cleaning Institute
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Consumer Goods Forum
  • Diarrheal Diseases Research
  • Dyson
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
  • Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)
  • Global Health Council
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnership (GPHWAP)
  • Hindustan Unilever
  • International Association for Food Protection
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • Save the Children
  • Soapbox
  • Unilever
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • WaterAid
  • World Bank
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Vision

And many more…

The GHP also has a number of academic partners, including the University of California, Berkeley; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The GHP was established in 2001 and is hosted by the World Bank.

The GHP leads the global celebration of Global Handwashing Day.

Each year, the Partnership develops a theme and materials to help people around the world celebrate and promote handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

Why do we need a handwashing public advocacy day?

Handwashing with soap and clean running water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and save lives.

Handwashing saves lives.

More importantly, proper handwashing saves lives.

When done properly, handwashing can help protect against a wide range of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and other diseases that cause millions of deaths worldwide, including cholera and other causes of diarrhea, pneumonia, common cold etc.

Inadequate hand hygiene transmits diseases that are especially dangerous for children under the age of five, who account for over half of all deaths from preventable diseases.

Global Handwashing Day should remind us all, that proper handwashing still matters, even in the 21st century.

While the needs are different in many countries, the needs for developing consistent handwashing habits and improving handwashing technique remains unmet, worldwide.

The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2023 is “Clean Hands are Within Reach”. It highlights that we all have to work together to assure handwashing for everyone, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status.

What can we all do to contribute on the Global Handwashing Day?

Here are a few tips:

Let’s commit to washing our hands regularly.

Let’s teach others how to wash hands effectively, both for healthcare providers, as well as our friends, family, and colleagues.

Let us also commit to teaching proper hand hygiene technique. Together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life.

For biggest and lifelong impact, let’s teach children about proper handwashing. If they learn proper technique at an early age, and perform good hand hygiene consistently, the benefits will be enormous, and lifelong.

You can also organize handwashing event in your community.

What kind of event can that be?

That can be anything: from a classroom or after school program demonstration to a school assembly, professional training for caregivers and educators or a community health fair.  

Organizing an event is an excellent way to spread the word. If you need assistance or would like to collaborate, please reach to Indelible Learning at:

By working together, we can make a difference and help everyone live healthier lives.

Indelible Learning Bubble Beats Trainer

Thanks to prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health, we have developed an amazing mobile app: Bubble Beats Trainer (BBT).

Bubble Beats Trainer (BBT) is creative approach to training the children, of all ages, proper handwashing techniques.

BBT addresses the missing piece in public health handwashing efforts:  correct handwashing technique.

Bubble Beats Trainer may be downloaded from Apple Stores and Google Stores:

Let’s show our enthusiasm.

Let’s be positive.

Let’s be inclusive.

Let’s think big.

If we do, together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life. We will make progress toward decreasing the transmission of some devastating infectious diseases.



  1. Global Handwashing Partnership

Last accessed October 15th 2023

  1. Global Handwashing Day

Last accessed October 15th 2023

Dr. Jasminka Vukanovic-Criley MD, FACP, FHM is Awards winning physician hospitalist, educator, advocate and entrepreneur. She can be reached on Twitter @criley_md or LinkedIn