HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For many families in poor countries, soap is a luxury that they do without, a new study finds.
Hand-washing with soap can help prevent the spread of diseases, especially pneumonia and diarrhea. These ills caused about 1.6 million child deaths worldwide in 2013, the researchers said.
"Hand-washing prevents leading causes of the 6 million deaths that occur annually in young children around the world. Never before has hand-washing been systematically measured in so many countries," said study co-author Dr. Pavani Ram. She is director of the University at Buffalo's Community for Global Health Equity in New York.
"These data are useful to public health programs and policy makers because they underscore the deep inequities that persist globally and within countries, contributing to these preventable child deaths among people living in poverty and in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia," Ram said in a university news release.
For the study, the researchers reviewed data from 51 countries. The investigators found that the availability of soap at hand-washing locations in homes ranged from less than 0.1 percent in Ethiopia to over 96 percent in Serbia.
The availability of soap anywhere in homes ranged from nearly 21 percent in Senegal to 99 percent in Iraq and Serbia. The proportions of homes in Africa with soap and water at a hand-washing place ranged from as low as 0.1 percent in Ethiopia to a high of nearly 35 percent in Swaziland, the study revealed.
The poorest homes often had much lower rates of soap and water for hand-washing than wealthier homes -- for example, 6 percent versus 85 percent in regions of Nepal.
The findings show the need to improve access to soap, along with hand-washing behavior in general, in many poor countries, according to the researchers.
The study was published recently in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on hand hygiene.
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
Updated on May 29, 2022