Global Hand Washing Day-2015

Global Hand washing Day Report

“Handwashing Kills Germs”

Manuchehri Girls High School

October 27, 2015



ANPHI             Afghanistan National Public Health Institute

DoPH               Department of Public Health

DoE                 Department of Education

GHWD             Global Hand Washing Day

HW                  Hand Washing

MICS                Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey

MoE                 Ministry of Education

MoHIA             Minister of Hajj and Islamic Affairs

MoPH              Ministry of Public Health

MRRD              Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development

NGOs                Non-governmental Organizations

PRRD                Provincial Rural Rehabilitation Department

Ru-WatSIP       Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Irrigation Program

SDGs                  Sustainable Development Goals

SMC                   School Management Council

UNICEF            United Nation Children Fund

WASH               Water, Sanitation and Hygiene



Every year, 2.5 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. This simple behavior can save lives, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost one-half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter.

Handwashing with soap can make a significant contribution to fulfilling the targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around child survival, nutrition, gender, equity, and education.

Handwashing with soap and water can significantly improve the survival and general health of people, particularly children under the age of 5.

Researches show that human feces may contain million viruses and bacteria, hand washing with soap after contact with faecal material while using the toilet or cleaning a child, before eating or handling the food and before feeding a child prevents the transmission of viruses such as polio, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

According Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS2010/2011), 102 out of 1000 children are dying before they reach their fifth birthday in Afghanistan. Every day in Afghanistan, diarrheal diseases cause an estimated 133 deaths among under-5 children. Besides 41% of children in the country suffer from stunting.

Global Hand Washing Day (GHWD) is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.


On October 27, 2015, at Manuchehrii Girls High School in Kabul, the GHWD was celebrated where hundreds of students participated. On stage, leading the hand washers, were H.E Minister of Education, Dr. Asadullah Hanif Balkhi and other representatives of MoE, H.E Minister of Hajj and Islamic Affairs, Faiz Mohammad Osmani, Ministry of Public Health, Director General of ANPHI Dr. Bashir Noormal and other representatives of MoPH, Ministry of rural Rehabilitation and Development, Eng. Ghulam Qader Head of RuWatSIP, and other Representative of MRRD, UNICEF, Dr. Sherin Varkey, Head of Health Section and other representatives of UNICEF, and well-known Taekwondo champion, Nesar Ahmad Bahawi, and many more children – all cheering the handwashers as they vigorously lathered, washed, rinsed and dried. A handwashing song by a group of school students and anthems by groups accompanied the hand washers. Later, another astonishing event took place: a drama on the importance of handwashing with soap among young schoolchildren of the concerned school. Finally, health messages were published on Facebook and twitter.

This year, thousands of students rallied around the slogan “Handwashing Kills Germs” and celebrated GHWD in several schools and health facilities in Afghanistan. Children, teachers, parents, celebrities, and government officials showed interest in celebrating the day and expressed their commitment to mobilize and motivate millions of Afghans to lather up in order to reduce life-threatening diseases, such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.

Authorities at various levels were engaged in several provinces to create enabling environment for promotion of hand washing with soap behaviour and provision of hand washing stations.

By partnering on a Global Handwashing Day celebration, these stakeholders created stronger bonds with one another, which will hopefully lead to further collaboration amongst the public and private sectors around handwashing.


  • Increase knowledge and awareness of people particularly mothers and children on importance of handwashing with soap to reduce child diseases.
  • Advocate at various levels of authorities and officials to promote hand washing behaviour and access to hand washing (HW) stations in 200 schools and in healthcare centres.



The reports received from Kabul states that the event took place in Manuchehrii Girls’ High School on October 27. High rank officials from four ministries (MoE, MoPH, MRRD, MoHIA), UNICEF representative of Afghanistan and representative of other WASH involved NGOs, Sport Federation, teachers and students attended the event. Around 2000 students and teachers benefited directly, and estimated two million people benefited through media. 2,000 leaflets, 50 T-shirts and 50 Caps with hand washing messages were distributed among school students.

Hand washing messages were also published through Facebook and twitter for a month using the hashtags #‎I wash My Hands and #‎Handwashing. UNICEF and Health Promotion Facebook photo album was like more than 800 times and reached more than 90,000 people. The photos and messages were also shared by Taekwondo champion on his official page, where in turn, it was liked more than 3,500 times.

30,000 leaflets, 365 wall-paintings, 100 signboards, 16 billboards were produced during the campaign from which about 4,500,000 people benefited.


In eastern region, the event was celebrated in 27 schools of 4 provinces. In Kunar, the event took place in 7 schools of Chawki and Asadabad districts.  A big gathering was organized in Omara Khan High school in Asadabad city, provincial capital of Kunar province.

Qazi Mohammad Nabi deputy Governor of Kunar province, provincial directors of Women affairs, RRD, Health and Religious affairs, teachers, students and community elders participated in the event. Several speeches were delivered on importance of hand washing and celebrating the day.

In total 7729 (47% girls) students and teachers from all seven schools received the hand washing messages and were directly benefited.


In Laghman, the event was celebrated in 7 schools of Mehterlam and Qarghayee districts. Main gathering was organized in PDE department, in Mehterlam City, provincial capital of Laghman province. Shahzada Mazlomyar deputy governor of Laghman province, provincial directors of Health, RRD, Women affairs, religious affairs, students, teachers and community elders participated. In total 9600 (45% girls) students in all 7 schools participated and received the hand washing messages.

In Nangarhar, main gathering was organized in Bibi Hawa girls’ high school. Provincial directors of Health, RRD, Women affairs, religious affairs, teachers, students, Community elders, SMC member participated in the event. In total 12,300 school students (53% girls) participated in school gathering and received hand washing messages.

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In Nooristan, the event was celebrated in 4 schools in Paroon, Provincial Capital of Nooristan Province. Provincial directors of Women affairs, RRD, Health and Religious affairs, teachers, students and community elders participated in the event. Speeches were delivered on importance of hand washing with soap by the delegates. In total 1600 (38% girls) students and teachers of four schools participated in ceremonies and received hand washing messages.

In western region, the GHD was celebrated in Ghor, Farah and Badghis provinces. In Ghor, the celebration ceremony was conducted in 3 schools, and in a village among the local community.

In school ceremony, schools students, teachers; authorities from DoPH DoE, RRD, women affairs, department of environmental health, and Department of Haj; community elders, religious leaders participated. Around 2000 participants from all the schools and community got the message and benefited directly.

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In Badghis the event was celebrated in 4 schools where 3600 school children got hand washing messages.

In Farah, a number of events were convened, aimed to celebrate GHD in number of Schools, health clinics, local community in Farah city, Pusht-e-Rod, Shib-e-Koh and Lash-e-Jowin districts.

The partakers of celebration ceremony were Provincial Governor, Mohammad Asif Nang, Provincial Council Leadership, Director of Public Health, Director of Education, Director of RRD, and a number of provincial directors, outlet media, schools students, schools teachers, RRD, authorities from department of women affairs, environmental health, and Hajj Affairs, community elders, and religious leaders. Around 12000 school students benefited from HWWS messages.

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In southern region, GHD celebration ceremony conducted in six schools of Kandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Uruzgon and Zabul Provinces. The participants of celebration ceremony were school students, school teachers, authorities from DoPH, DoE, RRD, DoC, women affairs, Department of Hajj and Islamic Affairs, community elders, and religious leaders. Almost 8500 school students and 250 school teachers directly benefited from HWWS messages.



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  • In order to further strengthen coordination among key stakeholders for celebration of GHWD, it is recommended that the pre-agreed agenda should strictly be followed; any changes in the last minute will affect future collaboration.
  • Meanwhile, to further expand activities and increase visibility of GHWD, it is important to involve other key relevant partners such as municipalities in Kabul and provinces, Afghanistan National Olympic Committee, and civil society

Overall Coverage

Region No. of schools where the GHD was celebrated No. of school students directly benefitted No. of school students demonstrated practicing of hand washing with soap behaviour. No. of people who received the message from social media No. of people who watched the report on GHD celebrations through mass media No. of people received hand washing messages through religious leaders, school children, and community health workers
CR 1 2,000 50 93,500 2,000,000  
ER 25 31,229 200 0 500,000
WR 3 3,000 150 0 200,000
NR 2 2,300 200 0 300,000
SR 8 9,883 10 0 500,000
Total 39 48,412 610 93,500 3,500,000  4,500,000


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