In acute emergencies, children face a disproportionate risk of disease due to various factors perpetuated by poor water quality, lack of water and soap among many other reasons. October 15 marks Global Handwashing Day, this year’s theme being “our hands, our future”.
The Global Handwashing Partnership States:
Handwashing with soap is one of the most important public health interventions in the world. Every year, 1.4 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases. This simple behavior can save lives, cutting diarrhea by almost one-half and acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter. Handwashing with soap impacts not just health and nutrition, but also education, economics, and equity.
In 2016, Field Ready won a challenge by HIF, “Hidden Incentives” developed in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a child specific intervention to handwashing. The soap features a toy in the middle of the locally made soap to encourage hand-washing. The more children wash, the closer they are to reaching the toy!