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Lave Men Nou - Wash Your Hands

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Knowing that COVID19 was making it's way to Haiti. We created this song and music video to share the message of prevention awareness.

So, you washed your hands this morning? Bravo! Because you don't want to spread potentially dangerous germs. And because experts remind us that our hands can hold from a million to a billion invisible bacteria.

But think back to those few minutes -- or were they mere seconds -- before the wash basin today.

Did you use hot water? Did you lather up for 15 to 30 seconds? Did you get under the fingernails -- a prime spot for germs?


20%-50% is not good enough, all hands to the pump. In all the lands, wash your hands.


It seems like such a simple task. But hand-washing, if not an art, is certainly a bit of science we all need brushing up on. Because even though you washed today, surveys show that too many people didn't -- or did so haphazardly -- even after obvious tasks such as changing a diaper or using a rest room. Or -- most critically -- before they handled food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all food-related illnesses are caused by unwashed or poorly washed hands.

If you're a regular hand-washer, fine. But check your technique against this advice from the American Society for Microbiology:

  • Wash in warm or hot running water. Hot water is much more effective than cold at dissolving oils and dirt on your skin's surface. But don't stop there. Simply running water over your hands is not nearly enough.

  • Use soap. Antibacterial soaps kill bacteria but may not provide any benefit over adequate washing with plain soap. All soaps work to break up and dissolve the substances -- primarily mucus, fecal material and food residue -- that likely contain disease-causing germs. While your hands harbor millions of bacteria, the dangerous ones arrive in these materials.

  • Rub your lathered hands together for about 15 seconds. (Tell children to scrub for as long as it takes them to sing their ABCs.) The rubbing action helps to further loosen any material still adhering to the skin. Remember to clean the palms and back of the hands and between the fingers and around and under the nails.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.

  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.

  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.

  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 2, 3, 6

  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 4

  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 3, 5

  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7


Not washing hands harms children around the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world 8.

  • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea 2, 3 and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia 3, 5.

  • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively 9.

  • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance 10, 11, 12.

  • Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings 13.

  • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19% 6.


Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) 2, 5. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues 14. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.


Five common ways germs are spread

  • Nose, mouth, or eyes to hands to others: Germs can spread to the hands by sneezing, coughing, or rubbing the eyes and then can be transferred to other family members or friends. Simply washing your hands can help prevent such illnesses as the common cold or eye infections.

  • Hands to food: Usually germs are transmitted from unclean hands to food by an infected food preparer who didn’t wash his or her hands after using the toilet. The germs are then passed to those who eat the food. This is easily prevented by always washing your hands after using the toilet and before preparing food items.

  • Food to hands to food: Germs are transmitted from raw foods, such as chicken, to hands while preparing a meal. The germs on the hands are then transferred to other uncooked foods, such as salad. Cooking the raw food kills the initial germs, but the salad remains contaminated.

  • Infected child to hands to other children: Germs are passed from a child with diarrhea to the hands of the parent during diaper changing. If the parent doesn’t immediately wash his or her hands, the germs that cause diarrhea are then passed to others.

  • Animals to people: Wash your hands after petting animals or touching any surfaces they come into contact with.

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About Me


In 2010 I visited Haiti with my dear friend Sean Penn and his organization JPHRO now known as CORE. He and his team showed me a side of Haiti that a simple guest or tourist could not see. I saw the beauty and resilience of a people held down by capitalism. I saw people struggling to pro-vide the most basic needs for their families. Haiti is meant to be a safe haven for 'freedom seekers' and the 'Pearl of the Antilles'.  

The challenges are great but like all Haitians, I am not deterred by challenge.

Haiti represents HOPE to all struggling peoples and one day Haiti will be a beacon of light for all underdeveloped and supressed countries in the world. This is why my family places our focus and importance on Haiti. She deserves the chance to shine. We all do.

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