Around the world, October 15th is recognized as Global Hand Washing Day. In recognition of the annual occasion, Gospel for Asia-supported churches, Bridge of Hope centers and Women’s Fellowships are doing their part to bring awareness about disease prevention to the people of South Asia.
“In many parts of our society, awareness of hygiene is still poor and lacking,” said one Gospel for Asia-supported Women’s Fellowship leader. “It is a simple habit that could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.”
Each year on Global Hand Washing Day, Gospel for Asia holds special programs designed to teach people how to take better care of their health. These sessions include things like video presentations, special speakers and public hand washing demonstrations. At Bridge of Hope centers, children are taught action songs that help them remember how to wash their hands properly.
“I sometimes see my parents come from work and, without washing their hands, eat whatever is given to them,” one student said after attending a Gospel for Asia-supported health program in 2014. “I will tell them about the importance of hand washing. Thank you very much.”
Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from these programs. One woman named Vamil earns a living by collecting waste from the roadside. She struggled with her health on a regular basis before she attended one of these hand washing programs.
“Often I get sick due to poor hygiene,” she explained. “I learned many things through this hand washing program. From now on, I will clean my hands at least five times a day with soap.”
Many people have expressed their appreciation for these hand washing programs, which help them to prevent the spread of germs and disease.
“I did not know about the diseases of unclean hands, but by this program I came to know about the diseases,” one woman said. “Now I will wash my hands properly and protect my family from many diseases. Thank you for raising awareness in the society.”