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Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day is October 15. The theme is "Make Handwashing a Habit".

The Shenzhen Case study

Better hand hygiene reduces the risk of childhood disease by nearly 60 percent in Shenzhen China. Read the story below or listen to the GHD Podcast (mp3).

Educating children in hand hygiene is a good investment in their health.

Last year SCA and Vinda initiated China’s first kindergarten hand hygiene intervention program, which aimed to show how good hand hygiene can protect against childhood diseases.

The six-month program, which utilized SCA’s Tork brand of soap and paper towels and Vinda’s anti-bacterial wipes, covered more than 8,000 children and nearly 650 teachers across 18 kindergartens in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, where Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease had become a significant issue among young children.

The research was conducted by the Shenzhen Center of Disease Control and Rotterdam Erasmus University Hospital. SCA supported the project with Tork dispensers, soap and paper towels, as well as anti-bacterial wet wipes. 

Education through game app

Ella Handwashing App is designed to promote positive hand hygiene habits in a fun and interactive manner

SCA’s Tork “Ella” handwashing school program toolkits were an important part of the kindergarten education program.  

Peter Blomström, Away from Home Arena Director, Emerging Arenas, at SCA, says: “The Tork Ella handwashing toolkit includes a storybook, digital game app and ‘graduation’ certificates, all designed to promote positive hand hygiene habits from a young age in a fun and interactive manner.”  

The kindergarten teachers were trained to guide the children through the comprehensive Ella handwashing school program developed by Tork, helping them to cultivate lasting and healthy hand hygiene habits over the six-month period.

More about the hygiene study

The World Health Organization reported that in China alone (as of December 31, 2015) more than 2 million people have been affected by Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)*. HFMD is highly contagious, and most commonly occurs among young children below the age of 5**. Symptoms of this viral disease include fever, nausea and vomiting as well as prominent, painful skin lesions on palms of hands, soles of feet and sometimes around the lips.

The research program is the first quantitative research of this scale in China to link early hand hygiene intervention among young children with disease prevention, showing that good hand hygiene can dramatically lower the risk of children contracting HFMD. 

*Source: World Health Organization – Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Surveillance Summary

**Source: Shenzhen Center of Disease Control