Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them! Source: by Bijan Manavizadeh, PPPHW, Oct 7 2016 |
Celebrated annually on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is a 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.
This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!”. In light of this theme, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how promoting habits as part of your celebration might lead to the development of sustained handwashing behavior.
Habit formation is an ongoing process and it requires continuous effort to encourage practitioners to not lose motivation and revert back to poor handwashing behavior. In order to effectively promote routine handwashing, stations must be accessible, properly maintained, and always stocked with soap and water.
So, for instance, if you host a handwashing demonstration at a community center for Global Handwashing Day, make sure permanent, functional handwashing facilities are available so the behavior can be sustained.
Pairing habit-formation initiatives with small doable actions can be an effective strategy. Behaviors are more likely to be adopted into a routine when they are both desirable and feasible for the practitioner.
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