Handwashing during 'normal times' can reduce burden of respiratory disease

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Re: Handwashing during 'normal times' can reduce burden of respiratory disease

Thank you, Neil for sharing this important piece of research. The finding is not surprising. However, the study quantifies the impact, which is a significant advancement. 

Sharing a couple of key points  for easy reference and stimulate a discussion.
  1. Handwashing with soap can reduce ARIs: The review shows that promoting handwashing with soap in LMICs can lead to a 17% reduction in ARI cases, including upper and lower respiratory infections.
  2. Significance beyond COVID-19: While COVID-19 garnered significant attention, ARIs remain a major cause of mortality globally, with over 80% of deaths occurring in LMICs. The study highlights the missed opportunity to address this burden effectively.
Importantly, the study points to the importance of WASH infrastructure. Historically, hygiene has often received the treatment of a poor cousin of water and sanitation. Sustained action to promote handwashing and ensure universal access to water and soap, especially where access is limited, is necessary. It is increasingly getting all the more important due to the increasing disparity, economies are growing, but the poor are getting poorer and unable to access even the basic necessities. 

I am also curious to know more about hand-washing behaviour, especially regarding the social, cultural, and economic factors that affect handwashing behaviour. Request members to please share experiences and resources.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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Handwashing during 'normal times' can reduce burden of respiratory disease

Handwashing during 'normal times' can reduce the burden of respiratory disease.

Analysis of studies involving 160,000 people across three continents reinforces message that handwashing is not just for pandemics.  Handwashing with soap can reduce cases of acute respiratory infection (ARI) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by as much as 17%, according to a review published in The Lancet...
Lead author Dr Ian Ross, from LSHTM, said: "Today, the UN estimates that 1.8 billion people lack access to a water tap in their home or yard. Our results show what might be achieved with sustained government action to promote handwashing and ensure universal access to the underlying infrastructure of water supply and soap."

read online: www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2023/han...-respiratory-disease 

Best wishes, Neil

Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh MB,BS
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Global Healthcare Information Network
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Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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