Global Handwashing Day

Today is the United Nations first ever Global Handwashing Day.
Unicef says using soap to wash hands, particularly after contact with excreta, can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by over 40% and respiratory infections by 30%.

Diarrhoea and respiratory infections are the main cause for child deaths in India.

Nearly half the population of South Asia has no access to toilets, whilst in sub-Saharan Africa this figure is as low as 28%.

With such poor sanitation standards, it is little surprise that children in the region are susceptible to diarrhoea, hepatitis and pneumonia - often leading to their deaths, the UN says.

The UN is celebrating 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.

Have you washed your hands? Link -via Simply Left Behind, where you'll find more links on the subject.

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Thank you for shining a light on these often underestimated and even more often unknown ills. Diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, and tuberculosis kill children in masses every day - and it's sad to know that a few simple hygienic actions could prevent so much death.
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Justin brings up a valid point. I don't believe that there could be many more better alternatives as to how the UN should spend thier money. People in these countries with extremley poor health coverage, and poor sanitation absolutley MUST become eduacted about sanitation. Children are dying in these countries that have poor sanitation. Learning about sanitation is extremley important in some of these countries. we could see an extreme decrease in the spread of disease and infection around the world if people just become eduacted on sanitation and cleanliness. This is a magnificant cause of spending and should have been considered earlier
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Valerie why do you think they are spending "millions" by simply promoting people to wash their hands? From what I've read this is a very low cost informational promotion.

Just because a Government or organization does something doesn't mean it will automatically be horrendously expensive...

Learning about sanitation is vitally important concept especially in countries with poor health coverage.
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are they spending millions teaching people to wash their hands? No, I cant be bothered to read the article. If there is any money spent I would guess that its on soap which would not be a waste because it would prevent the spread of disease and infection.
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Oh, my. The UN just does not know what to do with all the money it has, it does something like this. This is not something the UN should be spending money on. If the government of these countries cannot be bothered to teach their citizens about hygiene, then why bother. There are certainly more important things to be doing than spending millions like this... Unbelievable. What a waste.
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