Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, July 13, 2024


Handwashing and Hand Hygiene 
  • 2 billion still lack basic hygiene services, including 653 million with no facility at all. (WHO/UNICEF, 2023)
  • During childbirth, hygiene – and WASH services more generally – have critical impacts on the health of mothers and babies. Approximately 43% of global newborn deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where only half of health care facilities have a water source on site. (WHO/UNICEF, 2023)
  • 3 out of 10 people, 2.3 billion, lack a handwashing facility with water and soap at home, including 670 million who  have no access to a handwashing facility at all. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • 700 children die every day from diseases linked to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. (WHO/UNICEF 2021) 
  • 818 million children lack a handwashing facility with water and soap at their school.(WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • 462 million children attend schools with no handwashing facilities at all. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • Timely hand hygiene prevents up to 50 per cent of avoidable infections acquired during health care delivery, including those affecting the health workforce. (WHO/UNICEF 2021) 
  • Over the past five years, half a billion people have gained access to basic hand hygiene facilities – a rate of 300,000 per day. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • It is estimated that half a million people die each year from diarrhoea or acute respiratory infections which could have been prevented with timely and thorough hand hygiene. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • Almost half of the schools in the world do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water. (WHO/UNICEF, 2020)
  • 1 in 3 healthcare facilities does not have access to hand hygiene where care is provided. Almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services. (WHO/UNICEF, 2020)
  • Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention. (World Bank 2016)


Source: unwater.org Updated on 14th March, 2024