How To Reduce The Spread of Harmful Germs – World Health Day

person washing their hands

World Health Day has been held on the 7th April every year since 1950 and aims to raise awareness around global health issues. The day is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Each year World Health Day chooses a particular health related theme to raise awareness around. This year the focus is on Universal Health Coverage, focusing on ensuring that everyone around the world has access to health services that are financially affordable. Over 50% the world’s population lack access to essential health services and over 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household income on health care.

These statistics are striking and reveal the extent of the problem. The ultimate aim of World Health Day is to encourage governments and other leading health organisations to take the necessary actions to bring about change that will directly benefit people’s health.

Implementing universal health coverage would be a truly outstanding achievement. Alongside this, it is important to consider that practising good hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of harmful germs, help avoid illness and ensure good overall health. One of the most effective ways to improve hygiene is handwashing.

Hygiene to Improve Health

It is not just access to health care which is lacking in a number of countries around the world, but also access to basic hygiene necessities that we take for granted in the UK.

Hand washing is an extremely important way to reduce the spread of bacteria. Washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap is a highly effective way to remove harmful germs from your hands. In the UK, most of us will take hand washing facilities for granted. When you use a commercial washroom, you should be provided with soap, running water and hand drying facilities.

Unfortunately, for millions of people around the world handwashing facilities we would consider a basic necessity simply do not exist.

The Importance of Washing Your Hands

Providing hand washing facilities is a highly effective way of reducing the spread of germs and helps to combat illness.

Hand washing is an effective preventive measure and there is evidence to prove that hand washing can reduce the number of people who fall ill. For example, it is estimated that handwashing with water and soap can reduce respiratory infections by as much as 16% and reduce deaths caused by diarrhoea by an incredible 50%.1 To improve the health of people globally it is essential to invest in providing soap and sanitising facilities to allow people to wash their hands. Doing so can help to prevent millions of people from falling ill.

In addition to providing hand washing facilities, it is also important to improve education with regards to the transfer of germs is also very important. For example, you will only achieve the positive effects of hand washing if you do it for at least 20 seconds and use soap. A lack of understanding around the time that needs to be taken to wash hands is still a problem in the UK. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society carried out a survey of adults in the UK and found that a staggering 84% of people they surveyed do not wash their hands for long enough to remove germs properly.

This proves just how important it is to not just provide soap and sanitising products, but to also back this up by teaching people about how to use them properly to ensure effectiveness.

Stay Healthy by Hand Washing

Millions of people around the world do not have access to healthcare and basic hygiene facilities, such as soap and sanitising products, and this needs to change. It is vitally important to improve the basic hygiene practices of people around the world to help reduce the number of people falling ill.

The long-term goal outlined by this years’ World Health Day is to improve universal health coverage, but in the short term raising awareness about the importance of improving hygiene practices, such as ensuring effective handwashing, is an important preventive measure when it comes to helping reduce the spread of illness around the world.

Show your support for World Health Day by using the hashtag #HealthForAll on Twitter.

Improve Your Offices Hygiene Facilities

There are a number of ways to improve hygiene around the office. Providing effective and hygienic washroom facilities is extremely important for staff and visitors to your premises. If you would like to find out more about Citron Hygiene’s services then please contact a member of our team.


1. Disease Control and Prevention – Hygiene Facts

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