On October 15, Amref Health Africa joined the world in commemorating the Global Handwashing Day. The day is aimed at conveying the message that hand washing with soap is an effective, simple, and affordable way to prevent diseases.
Every year, more than 3.5 million children under the age of five die from diarrhoea and acute lower respiratory tract infections, three-quarters of them in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
These communicable diseases are caused by transmission of micro-organisms (bacteria or virus) from one person to another, either by direct contact, or through contaminated air, food or water. Many of the deaths could be avoided by curtailing transmission through improved hygiene; in fact, 75 per cent of illnesses in homes can be prevented through adoption of good hygienic practices.
On this important day, Amref Health Africa rallied across section of stakeholder from the public and private sectors, communities, to join hands with it in promoting hand washing to save lives ultimately achieving lasting health changes in Africa.
Hand washing with soap is one of the most effective and cost-effective means of preventing the infections that kill millions of children in Africa each year, and therefore a major tool for fighting disease on the continent. Unfortunately, good hand washing practice is not commonly practiced due to lack or scarcity of water and sometime lack of soaps.