October 20

Report: Investing $1 Per Person Per Year in Hand Hygiene Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives

By Ceridwen Johnson

All households in the world’s 46 least developed countries could have handwashing facilities by 2030 if the world invested less than US$1 per person per year, in hand hygiene.

This would provide basic protection against diseases, avert future outbreaks and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths.

The 2021 State of The World’s Hand Hygiene report launched today on Global Handwashing Day by WHO and UNICEF, highlights that an annual cost to governments of promoting handwashing with soap at home comes to just 2.5 per cent of the average government health expenditure in these countries — making it a highly cost-effective investment, providing outsized health benefits for relatively little cost.

Photo courtesy of Manuel Darío Fuentes Hernández.

Source: World Health Organization (link opens in a new window)