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Washing hands can save 400 children everyday: Unicef October 15, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine.
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NEW DELHI – Diarrhoea kills nearly 1,000 children below the age of five everyday in India, but washing hands with soap and water can save the lives of at least 400 of these kids, a UN agency said Thursday on the occasion of Global Handwashing Day.

In India, diarrhoea is a major killer with about 1,000 children below 5 years dying every day due to diarrhoea alone. Handwashing with soap can reduce diarrhoeal deaths in children by 40 percent and is one of the most inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoeal disease, the Unicef said.

The agency said that proper handling and safe storage of water reduces incidences of diarrhoea by nearly half.

Toilet use can reduce presence of diarrhoea causing agents but toilet usage in India is still very low. In 2006, toilet usage in India was 28 percent but this is showing an upward trend because of the government of Indias flagship programme – Total Sanitation Campaign. Nirmal Gram Purashkar has led to more than 18,020 Panchayats being declared free of open defecation,” Unicef said.

Yet, despite its life-saving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practised and is not always easy to promote, the agency added.

The UN agency said every one can make a difference in the Clean hands save lives campaign. Each year, diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections are responsible for the deaths of more than 3.5 million children under the age of five.

The second annual Global Handwashing Day, being celebrated Thursday, puts the spotlight on the importance of washing hands with soap and water as one of the most effective and affordable health interventions.

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