Our Approach to handwash

Our Approach to handwash!

Handwashing is one of the simplest and most effective disease prevention methods available, It’s unacceptable that millions of people worldwide do not have access to basic services like clean water, sanitation and soap for handwashing. We can and should do better to prevent illness and loss of life.

Data shows that hygiene services – including the ability to wash hands with soap – in health care facilities are often lacking. For example, in Eastern and South-Eastern Africa just one in three health care facilities (36%) had facilities to allow for handwashing with soap.

Also of concern are the number of health facilities without good waste management and general cleaning, which can contribute to the spread of infection. Only one in four (27%) health care facilities in least developed countries had the ability to safely dispose of medical waste, and only four countries had data on how health facilities are cleaned.

Progress on access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in low- and middle-income countries is perilously slow, despite an international target to reach everyone, everywhere with access to clean water and toilets by 2030.

Handwashing has been shown to reduce cases of all respiratory diseases by 20% and diarrhea by 30% and can help healthcare centers be better placed to support a response to an outbreak.

If everyone, everywhere had a place to wash their hands with soap and water as often as needed it would go a long way towards helping to contain and prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

Fast facts on handwashing 

  • Only 1 in 5 (19%) people globally wash their hands with soap after using the toilet. [1]
  • 1 in 3 primary schools worldwide does not have handwashing facilities.

Around 310,000 children die each year from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s over 800 children each day, or one child every two minutes.

443 million school days are lost every year because of water-related illnesses. 785 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home


Handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrheal diseases by 42-47%

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