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Oct 15 is Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day starts October 15, 2009. This international awareness day is brought to you by the Academy for Educational Development, CDC, UNICEF and several other partners. The strategy for the United States is being led by the U.S. Coalition for Child Survival which is preparing a media blitz around the release of a UNICEF report on childhood diarrhea, which will include special press releases, and a viral strategy using channels such as Twitter and Facebook. A commentary piece will be published on The Huffington Post, on global health journals, and on several NGO websites.

"The challenge is to transform handwashing with soap from an abstract good idea into an automatic behavior performed in homes, schools, and communities worldwide. Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit 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. A vast change in handwashing behavior is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-thirds by 2015."

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