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Global Hand-Washing Day promoted worldwide

Friday, October 17, 2008

hand_washing.jpg Last couple of days, it's been all about the bottled water here at EWG. The same day we released our investigation, was the day the United Nations declared the Global Hand-Washing Day

The day, and the initiative to call 2008 International Year of Sanitation comes after the founding that over 80 per cent of all diseases in developing countries are attributable to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

The action for the Global Hand-Washing Day spread across five continents in 70 countries and had affected over 120 million children.

The message about the importance of pure water and the access to it is clear. But the message about the importance of using that clear water, with soap, when washing hands is what this day wants to promote. According to the promotional web site for the day:

"Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote.

Of the approximately 120 million children born in the developing world each year, half will live in households without access to improved sanitation, at grave risk to their survival and development. Poor hygiene and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to about 88% of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases, accounting for 1.5 million diarrhoea-related under-five deaths each year. Children suffer disproportionately from diarrheal and respiratory diseases and deaths. But research shows that children - the segment of society so often the most energetic, enthusiastic, and open to new ideas - can also be powerful agents of behavioral change."

Nice action UN!