Handwashing with Soap

Every year 5,000 children under five die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices. Diarrhoea is also the second major cause of death among the children. However, handwashing with soap by mothers and caretakers, particularly after defecating or handling child's stool, can reduce diarrhoeal incidence by 40 percent and respiratory infections by an estimated 23 percent.

Handwashing is the cheapest vaccine against various diseases as it is cost-effective compared to other frequently funded health interventions. For example, a USD 3.35 investment in handwashing brings the same health benefits as a USD 11 investment in latrine construction, a USD 200 investment in household water supply and an investment of thousands of dollars in immunization.

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