Importance of handwashing shown by WHO and Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins
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Importance of handwashing shown by WHO and Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins

by Freya Lucas

October 21, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Disney Junior have joined forces to remind children all over the world about the importance of proper handwashing in preventing the spread of germs and disease using the Hand Hygiene for All initiative.


Doc McStuffins is a familiar character to many children, with the program featuring a young girl who wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who is a doctor. She practices her doctor skills on her toys, and in this campaign, is joined by her ‘patients’ in a hand washing public service announcement, which was developed by Disney Junior, reminding young viewers to use soap and wash their hands regularly.


“Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is one of the most important and most basic steps in keeping safe from COVID-19 and many other pathogens,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “It is also one of the most effective ways to prevent antimicrobial resistant diseases.”


Speaking on behalf of Disney Junior, general manager Joe D’Ambrosia said that Disney appreciated the opportunity to amplify such an important message through the partnership with WHO. 


As well as being a vital component of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign will support in lessening the burden placed on the health care system, through promoting greater hygiene. Currently one in ten patients worldwide is affected by health care-associated infections; which are avoidable infections acquired during care. Ensuring that everyone, everywhere knows the importance of washing hands, and making provisions available to support that, can play a major role in bringing this burden down.


WHO estimates that most people in the least developed countries are at immediate risk of COVID-19 infection because they can’t wash their hands. In the 60 highest-risk countries,one billion people — or two out of every three — lack basic hand washing facilities with soap and water at home. Around half of them are children.


One in three health care facilities around the world do not have hand hygiene at points of care, exposing health care workers to high risk, and nearly half of all schools world wide do not have hand washing facilities with water and soap, affecting 900 million school-age children, as well as their teachers and other staff.


Through the Hand Hygiene for All initiative, Disney Junior and WHO are joining hands with international partners, national governments, public and private sectors, and civil society organisations who are raising awareness about the importance of keeping hands clean.


More information about the initiative is available here

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