New York: On the eve of Global Handwashing Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported that more than 300,000 children under the age of five died last year due to diarrhoeal infections linked to a lack of safe drinking water and sanitation – a rate of 800 per day that could have been prevented by proper handwashing.
“Every year, 1.4 million children are dying from largely preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea. The numberscould be greatly reduced by working with children and families to adopt a very straightforward solution – handwashing,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s global head of water, sanitation and hygiene.
Handwashing with soap before meals and after toilet use has been shown to reduce diarrhoeal infections by 40 per cent, said UNICEF.
The UNICEF report says One gram of faeces contains 100 billion bacteria and each year, 1.7 million children die before the age of 5 because of diarrhoea and pneumonia.
Image Courtesy: UNICEF/Chris Niles
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