Hand washing promotion for preventing diarrhoea

Added April 2, 2013

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Interventions to promote handwashing, such as targeted education and provision of free soap, improve hand hygiene and reduce diarrhoeal episodes in children and adults living in low- and middle-income countries by about one third. This significant reduction is comparable to the effect of providing clean water in low-income areas.

Hand washing after defecation and handling faeces, and before preparing and eating food, is one of a range of hygiene promotion interventions that can interrupt the transmission of diarrhoea-causing pathogens. This review evaluates the effects of interventions to promote hand washing on diarrhoeal episodes in children and adults.