While most people would immediately claim that they practice regular handwashing, the recent survey conducted to know the handwashing habits of the Filipinos says otherwise. The first Philippines Handwashing Index done by the country's leading soap brand Safeguard revealed:
- 7 out of 10 Filipinos CLAIM to wash their hands after using the toilet but--ONLY 2 out of 10 really do
- A shocking 64% of Filipinos DO NOT wash their hands at all after using a mall toilet
- ONLY 40% of children wash their hands--and they don't use soap either
- Half of Filipinos DO NOT wash their hands after using their mobile phones--known to be one of the dirtiest surfaces
- Filipinos touch MORE THAN 23 other people, averaging 90 unique 'touches' per day. However, they wash our hands ONLY 5 times per day
- 60% of females washed their hands with water ONLY before cooking
- 40% washed their hands with water ONLY before feeding the kids
- 80% of Filipinos DO NOT wash their hands after shaking hands with another person
- 40% of Filipinos DO NOT wash their hands before touching young children
- Half of Filipinos DO NOT wash their hands after traveling on public transportation
Sounds gross, isn't it? I was also shocked to know the results of this study. However, let's keep in mind that one of the fastest ways to spread germs and diseases is by human contact and ingesting contaminated food. It is very clear that Filipinos haven't nurtured the habit of proper handwashing and the results of this study revealed that a great number do not really care about the importance of handwashing before and after doing any activity. With this, there is a great opportunity to educate our fellow Filipinos that washing hands with soap can effectively remove disease-causing germs and is the most basic way to prevent oneself from getting sick.
And oh, did you know that 1.5 million children around the world die every year due to diarrhea? Diarrhea is the second most common cause of death among children in the world and pneumonia is number one. Based on UNICEF's statistics, pneumonia takes the lives of 1.8 children all over the world annually. In the Philippines, in the study done by Department of Health (DOH), pneumonia also takes the lives of children ages 1-14 years old and is the number 1 cause of death in the country. We know that there are still lots of countries all over the world that do not have potable drinking water, and in the Philippines, there are still remote places that do not have access to clean water as well. By simple habit of proper handwashing with an anti-bacterial soap, we can reduce the number of deaths caused by human transfer.
Global Handwashing Day 2017
This year's Global Handwashing Day was held at Baseco Compound in Manila last October 12, 2017. This year's theme was, "Bawat Hugas, Dapat Safeguard Hugas" and was joined by Pambasang Bae Alden Richards. In this event, the newest Safeguard handwashing song was introduced to the public and is sung by Alden Richards. Check it out below:
The lyrics of the song is timely for the holiday season as we have the longest celebration of Christmas all over the world. The song is a call for every Filipino to do their part in promoting handwashing to keep everyone healthy and protected from germs throughout the season. Make it a habit to wash your hands with Safeguard in these five (5) "hugas non-negotiables": before "mano", after using the toilet, before eating, after playing and before bonding.
During the celebration, a talk on how much germs we can get from touching and holding and how much germs were removed after washing with different kinds of soaps.
|Station where it was explained how we get germs and how much we get every time we touch something|
|Kib attentively listens to David Khoo, Safeguard Science Expert, to the explanation as to how we get germs on our hands|
|I volunteered my car keys for germ test, they're swabbing it and the swab will be put on the germ meter|
|The germ meter. My car keys has more than 800 germs registered on this device|
|Station 2 shows what kinds of germs we can contract on different situations and what possible illnesses these germs can give us|
It was indeed a fun and educational event for everyone during the celebration of Global Handwashing Day!
|Pambansang Bae Alden Richards greets everyone during the Global Handwashing Day celebration|
|Handwashing stations ready to be used by the students of Baseco Elementary School|
|Alden Richards teaching a child on how to wash hands properly|
|Students of Baseco Elementary School showing off their clean hands to the media|
For the holiday season, Safeguard introduced their Christmas gift sets, which contains Safeguard Pure White Body Wash (400 ml), Pure White Liquid Hand Soap (225 ml), and a free loofah. These limited edition pack will be available for Php199 at all leading supermarkets nationwide.
Let us make handwashing a part of our daily activities so we can fight diseases and maintain good hygiene.