USAID – Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2016!
On Global Handwashing Day, we join partners around the world to celebrate the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Handwashing is an important part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths.
Although many people around the world clean their hands with water, the use of soap is also necessary to prevent disease more effectively.
- Millions of children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infections like pneumonia.
- Handwashing with soap is also a key component of clean and safe birthing practices, which could save up to 40 percent of the 2.8 million infants that die during their first month of life.
USAID’s life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs and other development activities promote adoption of handwashing and other hygiene practices as an important element of improved health and nutrition programs.
- See how the Povu Poa is increasing handwashing in Kenya
- Listen to Robert Dreibelbis on Handwashing Behavior Change in Bangladesh
- Learn more about USAID’s work in water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Learn more about USAID’s maternal and child health efforts
- Read about USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program’s work to achieve clean clinics in Haiti
Photo credit: USAID