Monday, June 26, 2017

Families in Low-income countries Lack Soap at Home- Research Reprot

"Hand washing prevents leading causes of the 6 million deaths that occur annually in young children around the world... These data are useful to public health programs and policy makers because they underscore the deep inequities that persist globally," said Dr. Pavani Ram, a researcher at the University at Buffalo.

A new study by the University at Buffalo shows access to soap and water for hand washing in homes varies greatly based on income levels. Researchers say improved hand washing habits could prevent millions of children from contracting disease. Photo by Wollertz/Shutterstock
 
June 26 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University at Buffalo report that hand washing behavior, and access to soap and water in the home, is lacking in low-income countries.
The study, published in the June edition of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, was conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo, USAID, UNICEF and other organizations, analyzed data from 51 surveys, revealing the percentage of households around the world where soap and water for hand washing was present varied greatly depending on income level.
"Hand washing prevents leading causes of the 6 million deaths that occur annually in young children around the world. Never before has handwashing been systematically measured in so many countries," Dr. Pavani Ram, an associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health and director of the Community for Global Health Equity at UB, said in a press release. "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."
Researchers found the likelihood of having access to soap and water in a dwelling ranged from 21 percent in Senegal to 99.1 percent in Iraq and Serbia. Ethiopia had the lowest availability of soap in dwellings at just 0.1 percent. Swaziland had the highest rate in Africa at 34.7 percent.
The availability of soap and water was less in poorer households than in middle to higher-income households in all areas.
Soap and water availability was higher in the Eastern Mediterranean region compared to Africa with 42.6 percent in Afghanistan to 91.5 percent in Iraq.
Nearly 79 percent of households in Bhutan had access to soap and water for handwashing compared to 21.4 percent in Bangladesh.
"This analysis demonstrates the need to promote access to handwashing materials and placement at handwashing locations in the dwelling, particularly in poorer, rural areas where children are more vulnerable to hand washing-preventable syndromes such as pneumonia and diarrhea," the researchers stated

***Amy Wallace 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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