Billu rushed to the washroom. It was almost out of control for him after trying to hold back for an hour so as not to disturb the crucial innings he was playing. He ran to the loo as soon as the 5 min break was announced. He clearly didn’t want to miss rhe rest of the match. He mezzled with the water quickly, pat dried his hands with his trousers and rushed back to the field. The game was about to begin…to cheer his partner, as usual he held his hand up for a hi five but Ali made a face and simply gave a thumbs up instead. Why?
Ali had seen Billu not washing his hands properly after using the loo and he was being careful on hygiene for he’d just recovered from pneumonia and didn’t want to fall sick again.
Well, Ali did a very wise thing indeed.
Obviously the above script was formulated to just give you an everyday situation to understand what my purpose of this article is. Do you know that nearly 3.5 million child deaths take place every year due to diarrhoea and pneumonia alone? Root causes have obviously been unhygienic food consumption made with unsanitized hands in unsanitized environments besides many other reasons. But a simple, low cost act of handwashing thoroughly with even a regular soap has been able to reduce these incidents by 30% (as per Wikipedia) which is definitely a large step towards improvement. Sadly speaking, a large number of communities living in dreary parts of our country don’t have any basic knowledge of hygiene. There, where women sanitation is itself a major issue, handwashing is equally an alien idea. In fact, not just these underprivileged communities but even the educated ones sometimes don’t follow the habit of thorough handwashing after using toilet, before cooking (I do it it several times in between too). Even after the 30% reduction in incidents, the remaining number is still large and multiple hygiene brands are stepping forward to spread awareness and create a global impact.
Unilever Pakistan along with its brand Lifebuoy cofounded the Global Handwashing Day in 2008 with its public and private partnerships. This day is now celebrated in 100 countries across The world and is serving as a successful social platform for extending the message of health and hygiene to the masses. They aim to impact lives of 1 billion people by 2020
Globally the day is observed on October 15th with the similar theme all around. This year, here in Karachi, the public event took place at the PAF Museum under the tag line #High5ForHandwashing where a large number of crowd gathered and celebrities joined in as well. For each high 5 collected, Lifebuoy in turn aims to teach 5 kids the right way of handwashing at important hours of the day, because obviously education and awareness about basic health practices is a must.
Possibly Lifebuoy Pakistan might make it to the Guinness world record for collecting the most number of high5’s
Here are some of the event highlights:
You can follow the event highlights on social media by the hashtag #High5ForHandwashing
PR for event was managed by #BBPR