Millions lather up to save lives as UN observes Global Handwashing Day

15 October 2008 – Nearly 200 million people from over 70 countries participated today in United Nations events marking the first ever Global Handwashing Day, held to raise awareness about how a lack of effective sanitation and poor hygiene practices can bring death and disease.

Handwashing with soap – particularly before eating and after using the toilet – is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoeal disease and pneumonia, which together are responsible for almost 3.5 million child deaths every year, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated in a press release.

Read all UN News Center

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