United Nations | Xinhua | Globally, about three in ten people, or 2.3 billion, do not have facilities for washing their hands with soap and water at home, the United Nations Fund for Human Rights said on Friday. childhood (UNICEF).
The situation is worse in the least developed countries, with more than six in ten people without access to basic hand hygiene, UNICEF said in a fact sheet on Global Handwashing Day, which falls on October 15.
According to the latest estimates, two out of five schools in the world lack basic hygiene services with soap and water, affecting 818 million students, of whom 462 million attend schools without any facilities. In the least developed countries, seven out of ten schools do not have a place where children can wash their hands.
One-third of healthcare facilities worldwide do not have hand hygiene facilities at points of care where the patient, health worker and treatment involve patient contact.
The latest data shows that progress has been made since 2015. The global population with access to basic hand hygiene at home has increased from 5 billion to 5.5 billion, or from 67% to 71%. However, if current trends persist, 1.9 billion people will still not have access to basic hand hygiene by the end of the decade.
The cost of hand hygiene in every household in 46 of the world’s least developed countries by 2030 is estimated at US $ 11 billion. UNICEF urges governments to commit to ensuring hand hygiene, not as a temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as an investment in public health and economic resilience.