Some facts about the effectiveness of handwashing in combating illnesses and diseases
Published Oct 15, 2021
Since 2008, the world has celebrated Global Handwashing Day annually on October 15 to promote handwashing with soap and water as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent disease and save lives, especially among children and youth.
But how effective is handwashing in combating illnesses and diseases?
Some quick facts:
- Washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal and respiratory disease-associated deaths by up to 50% and 16%, respectively.
- Researchers estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, at least one million deaths could be prevented yearly.
- On average, you come into contact with 300 surfaces, exposing you to 840,000 germs every 30 minutes.
- Most people in the world wash their hands for only up to six seconds?
- The chances of communicable diseases being transferred by touch is 80%.
- Most bacteria reside on the fingertips and under the nails; the number doubles after using our restrooms.
- Only about 47% of the population (15% in sub-Saharan states) have access to handwashing facilities in the least developed countries.
- In Nigeria, up to 33% of the population do not have access to handwashing facilities.
- Up to 47% of schools worldwide, about 900 million children, do not have access to handwashing facilities.
Emphasis on handwashing and hygiene is pivotal in the battle against Covid-19 and other lingering diseases that snatch the lives of millions of innocent children around the globe. While governments bear the duty of ensuring that hospitals, schools, and even homes have consistent access to clean soap and water, human agency is also essential. Let us do our part by practising proper handwashing.
Please share your knowledge about handwashing with soap and your opinion on ensuring handwashing is practised at home, schools, and offices.