A do-it-yourself vaccine - Nigel Fisher, UNICEF Canada
Every year, diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections are responsible for the deaths of more than 3.5 million children under the age of five. Higher rates of handwashing with soap would significantly contribute to reducing those deaths.
Yet, as Global Handwashing Day—being celebrated Oct. 15—points out, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and not always easy to promote.
Global Handwashing Day is only in its second year. Using the slogan, Clean Hands Save Lives, this year’s campaign aims to engage school children as effective agents for change—teaching them how important good hygiene is and having them take the message back to their communities.
Just as UNICEF helped develop and distribute oral rehydration salts in the mid-1970s when acute diarrhoea was taking 5 million young lives a year, it is important that UNICEF – with your help - supports initiatives that will enable communities to take such simple aspects of child survival into their own hands.
In this case, literally.