FHI 360’s Julia Rosenbaum discusses the power of small doable actions in water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. FHI 360’s WASHplus program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supports healthy households and communities by delivering interventions that lead to improvements in access, practices and health outcomes related to WASH and indoor air pollution. For more information on WASHplus, please visit www.washplus.org.
Diarrhea and respiratory infections are responsible for the majority of all child deaths, taking the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Fortunately, one of the most cost-effective solutions is virtually at our fingertips: washing our hands with soap. This simple act can reduce the incidence of diarrhea and respiratory infections among children under 5 by almost 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
To promote this life-saving practice around the world, the Global Public–Private Partnership for Handwashing — which includes FHI 360, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and 10 other public and private organizations — launched Global Handwashing Day. The event has grown from a one-day celebration in a few cities to a worldwide movement that has mobilized significant investment in and political support for handwashing with soap.