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  • Writer's pictureNaomi Roach

Bridging the Hygiene Gap: A Global Call for Improved Hand Hygiene Facilities

In a world where unprecedented advancements in technology and science are constantly occurring, it's sobering to realise that millions of people still lack access to a fundamental necessity: proper hand hygiene facilities. A joint report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, published in 2020, sheds light on a stark reality – a lack of basic hygiene facilities for 2.3 billion people at home, 1 in 3 healthcare facilities worldwide, and 118 million children when at school(1). These statistics paint a troubling picture of the challenges we face in ensuring a healthy and hygienic environment for everyone.


The Global Hygiene Disparity

The report's findings underline a shocking global disparity in access to proper hand hygiene facilities. For 2.3 billion people, the absence of basic facilities like soap and water at home poses a significant risk to their health(1). These individuals are denied a simple yet effective defence against the spread of infectious diseases, including common respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.


Furthermore, the fact that 1 in 3 healthcare facilities worldwide lack adequate hand hygiene facilities, presents an alarming concern. Healthcare settings are meant to be sanctuaries of healing, but without proper sanitation measures, they can inadvertently become breeding grounds for infections. Patients, healthcare workers, and visitors are all at risk when essential hand hygiene resources are insufficient or absent(1).


Children's Vulnerability

The report also shines a light on the vulnerability of young learners. A staggering 118 million children across the globe lack access to basic hygiene facilities in schools(1). Schools should be safe spaces where children can learn, grow, and develop. However, without proper handwashing facilities, schools can inadvertently contribute to the spread of illnesses among students, hindering their education and overall well-being.


A Call to Action

These statistics underscore the urgent need for concerted efforts to bridge the hygiene gap. Improving hand hygiene facilities is not just a matter of convenience; it's a matter of life and death. We cannot afford to ignore the significance of proper hand hygiene in preventing the transmission of diseases.


Governments, organisations, and individuals alike must come together to address this global challenge. Providing access to clean water, soap, and hand sanitisers in homes, healthcare facilities, and schools is an investment in the health and well-being of communities worldwide.


As a manufacturer of hand sanitiser, we are committed to playing our part in this critical endeavour. Our mission goes beyond providing quality products – it extends to raising awareness about the importance of hand hygiene and advocating for better access to hygiene facilities.


Conclusion

The joint report by WHO and UNICEF serves as a wake-up call, reminding us that the privilege of proper hand hygiene facilities is not enjoyed by everyone. The statistics – 2.3 billion people at home, 1 in 3 healthcare facilities, and 118 million children at school – demand our attention and action. Let us rally together to bridge the hygiene gap, ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to protect their health and the health of their communities through proper hand hygiene.

  1. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP). (2020). Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020: Five years into the SDGs. World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). ↩2 ↩3 ↩4

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