- Globally, 2.3 billion people have no handwashing facilities at home: WHO
- 818 million children do not have handwashing facilities in schools: WHO
- Lack of handwashing facilities lead to increased risk of infections: WHO
Geneva: A global investment of just USD 1 per person in hand hygiene annually could prevent thousands of deaths in the least developed countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday (October 15). “All households in the world’s 46 least developed countries could have handwashing facilities by 2030 if the world invested less than USD 1 per person per year in hand hygiene. This would provide basic protection against diseases, avert future outbreaks and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths,” the WHO said.
The promotion of handwashing with soap at home costs 2.5 per cent of an average health budget per year, making it “a highly cost-effective investment, providing outsized health benefits for relatively little cost,” the organization explained, citing the latest State of The World’s Hand Hygiene report by the WHO and UNICEF.
Globally, 2.3 billion people have no access to handwashing facilities at their homes; 818 million children do not have them in schools; while medical personnel in one in three healthcare institutions lack handwashing facilities in their place of work, which leads to increased risk of infections, the organization said.
It warned that only 78 per cent of humanity will have access to basic hand hygiene services by 2030 if the problem is not properly addressed, which means that 1.9 billion people will not have the facilities to wash their hands at home.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.