Health & Medicine

Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:29

Bryan Habana promotes health education with a Guinness World Records attempt

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In a bid to educate and empower South Africans and eradicate the spread of disease, rugby star Bryan Habana and over 1,800 children will attempt to break the existing Guinness World Records (TM) total of the most people washing their hands at the same time, in the same place.
Following recent swine flu scares worldwide, experts have called for people to take simple measures to prevent the spread of disease. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infections.”

Handwashing with soap dramatically reduces the chances of infection, especially in younger children. Good handwashing habits, ideally formed from a young age, can save millions of lives and could also reduce our dangerously high infant mortality rates.

On 15 October, Global Handwashing Day, Protex in association with children from Edenglen Primary and Eastleigh Primary Schools will be participating in the great handwashing event. They will first get their hands dirty by creating a giant mural of multi-coloured handprints to create a South African flag with Bryan Habana’s help.

Thereafter, Habana and the children will ready themselves at their washing stations to break the record of the most people washing their hands at a single location, following strict Guinness World Records(TM) guidelines. The record attempt will be adjudicated by Carl Saville from Guinness World Records(TM) in London, who will fly into South Africa the day before.

Currently held by 1,213 participants at Banani Biddwa Niketon School of Dhaka in Bangladesh, and set on 22 October 2008, the Guiness World Record(TM) will not be an easy one to break. Protex hopes to involve at least 1,800 participants on the day as part of their national handwashing campaign, which began in June 2009.

Our hands are the busiest and most utilised of all body parts, catching and spreading bacteria and other viruses. When we touch visible dirt, we instinctively wash our hands, but the most infectious of germs are not always visible to the naked eye. Good handwashing with germ-free (antibacterial) soap can contain the spread of diseases like swine flu, cholera, tuberculosis and diarrheal disease.

Bryan Habana, the official brand ambassador for the Protex “Gimme 5 for germ-free hands” campaign says, “Educating our children now about the advantages of proper hygiene will save thousands of lives in the future. I am proud to be part of this important campaign which will uplift communities across South Africa by keeping them healthy and aware of healthy habits.”


5 Tips for Handwashing
1. Before preparing or eating food
2. After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
3. After physical activity inside or outside
4. Before and after coming into contact with someone who is ill or wounded
5. After coming into contact with urine, faeces, bodily discharge, pets or garbage

5 Steps to Germ-free hands:
• Wet hands and soap up with the power of Protex soap to break down any grease and dirt that carry most germs
• Rub and scrub hands front and back and
• Wash wrists, under nails and between fingers for at least 20 seconds
• Rinse well with clean water
• Dry with a clean cloth

Carl Saville – Guinness World Records(TM) Adjudicator
Carl is an official Guinness World Records(TM) Adjudicator based in London, UK. His job is to travel around the world to witness record breaking events worldwide.

About Guinness World Records(TM) 2010
Guinness World Records(TM) 2010 is like never before. It contains all the regular favourites, including Space, Planet Earth, The Animal Planet, The Body, Human Achievements, Engineering and Technology, Sports and others, but it’s also packed with brand new records. Watch out also for over 450 full colour, high-resolution, lifelike images that will keep you wanting more. Even better, this year, for the first time in the history of GWR, the Guinness World Records(TM) vault is unlocked. This means that you’ll be able to access world records online at:, with never-seen-before records as well as the much loved records that continue to captivate and astound readers every time. Included on the website are photographs, wall papers, interviews and more. Watch out for our handwashing record in years to come! Guinness World Records(TM) 2010 (ISBN Number:139781904994497) will available in all good bookshops for R250.00 from September.


Please note: TM - Trademark. All mention of Guinness World Records requires the superscripted Trademark sign.

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