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WASH SDG Consortium joint statement for the Global hand-washing day

Today (October 15, 2018) is Global Handwashing Day! Have you already washed your hands? This year, the focus is on highlighting the links between handwashing and food – including good food hygiene and nutrition.

Did you know…?

  • Handwashing interventions greatly reduce the risk of diarrhoea and enteric and respiratory infections in children < 5 years old (research shows that by almost 50%). In fact, handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective interventions to end preventable child deaths.
  • In countries where it is most needed, fewer than one in five people practice handwashing with soap.
  • Despite the acceptance of its importance, hygiene promotion is often given far less emphasis than traditional water and sanitation supply and promotion activities in development settings.

Providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and services does not automatically lead to improved handwashing and hygiene practices. However, improving hygiene practices is essential to ensure a positive, sustainable health impact in the communities where we work.

The WASH SDG Consortium (WAI, SNV and Plan International Netherlands) is fully committed to improve hygiene practices, including handwashing, in the countries where the programme is under implementation (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia). We will use the WHO UNICEF JMP handwashing ladder  to measure progress in the coming years.

If you want to know more about the WASH SDG programme in general, please contact Eva Duarte Davidson at washsdg@simavi.nl.

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