UNICEF highlights the importance of handwashing in saving livesListen /
With diarrhoeal diseases killing up to 2,000 children each day, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is reminding the world of a simple yet effective practice that can save countless lives.
Monday, 15 October, is the fifth annual Global Handwashing Day and UNICEF says it is critically important that handwashing with soap becomes routine for all people.
Anne Thomas is a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene expert with UNICEF in Nairobi, Kenya.
"Handwashing with soap can reduce diarrhoeal disease in under-fives by nearly 50 per cent and it can also reduce the incidence of respiratory infections by 25 per cent. So for this reason we see it as one of the most cost-effective interventions for reducing the incidence of diarrhoeal disease and respiratory infections." (Duration: 21″)
UNICEF is bringing the message to millions of people, including school children in more than 100 countries, through activities such as public handwashing events.
Agency data shows that handwashing differs from country to country, and is influenced by location, culture and wealth.