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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Handwashing campaign



The long term goal of the Handwashing campaign was to reduce the person to person, and environment to person, transmission of pathogenic organisms which cause diarrhoea, skin sores and respiratory disease. This project sought to reduce the incidence of infectious disease in young children by increasing the rate of handwashing. The project also considered the influence of poorly maintained housing on health outcomes.

The campaign had 4 main objectives:

Focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted in an Indigenous community in the Top End and in Central Australia to determine the barriers and drivers to people routinely washing their hands with soap. Information gathered during this formative research stage was used to guide the development of the social marketing campaign.

The final campaign includes four television commercials in a top and tail format, four posters, a 'how to' sticker and point of sale materials to encourage the purchasing of soap. The catch cry 'didya wash ya hands?' and logo with the response 'no germs on me' effectively brand all campaign materials. The campaign is designed to stimulate thinking about the benefits of handwashing while still allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the behaviour.

Abstract adapted from the Lowitja Insitute and the Northern Territory Department of Health


The Lowitja Institute
Suite 1, Level 2, 100 Drummond Street
Carlton Vic 3053
PO Box 650
Carlton South 3053
Ph: (03) 8341 5555
Fax: (03) 8341 5599

NT Department of Health
87 Mitchell Street
Darwin NT 0800
PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811
Ph: (08) 8999 2400

Related publications

Schobben X, Clements N (2009)

‘No germs on me' hand washing campaign.

Paper presented at the 7th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference Kalgoorlie, WA. 12-15 May 2009, Kalgoorlie, WA

No germs on me (2008)

Northern Territory Department of Health and Families

The Northern Territory's Department of Health and Families 'No germs on me' campaign raises awareness of the importance of handwashing in schools, at home and in the community to prevent the spread of diarrhoeal and respiratory illnesses.

The aim of the campaign is to motivate men, women and children to regularly wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet, after changing babies' nappies and before touching food.

The resources were developed with the assistance of focus groups and in-depth interviews with Indigenous communities in the Top End and Central Australia, which determined the barriers and drivers to people routinely washing their hands with soap.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Clements N (2008)

No germs on me - hand washing campaign.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 15(3): 22


Last updated: 3 June 2015
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