Who would'a thought that reading the first paragraph of Moby Dick by Herman Melville would increase handwashing! Well, the collaboration between Herman Melville and Allegheny County Helalth Department in Pennsylvania has proven that if you start washing your hands and reading the excerpt from Moby Dick at the same time, you should be nice and clean by the time you finish reading! Why was this implimented? Well, according to the Literary Classics Handwashing Awareness Campaign, here is the rationale behind the campaign:
A campaign to promote handwashing dubbed the Literary Classics: A New Kind of Reading Material for Public Restroomswon the Health Department the prestigious J. Howard Beard Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials way back in 1999.
A major outbreak of shigellosis — an intestinal illness often associated with poor handwashing practices — prompted ACHD and a local ad agency to develop a series of restroom posters that were based on the works of famous authors like Charles Dickens and Herman Melville and promoted handwashing in an amusing way. Shigellosis cases dropped dramatically and surveys found handwashing rates to be much higher in restrooms where the posters were displayed.
If you want to impliment this idea at home, here are a few more posters that have worked in the past...
|L. Frank Baum|
For more posters check out the Literary Classics Handwashing Awareness Campaign!