Hygiene and Health saves and improves lives

Major progress has been made in improving the health of millions of people in recent decades. Still, more efforts are needed to fully eliminate a wide range of diseases and address the most pressing health issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the critical importance of basic hygiene for preventing diseases. By focusing on providing improved sanitation and hygiene and increased access to health services, significant progress can be made in helping to save the lives of millions.

Sanitation and hygiene are key to preventing and managing the outbreak of many deadly infectious diseases, including cholera, diarrhea, Ebola, tropical diseases, polio and now COVID-19. Sanitation and hygiene also reduce maternal and neonatal death, curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance, and prevent severe systemic infection also known as sepsis, which now kills more people globally each year than cancer.3 Poor sanitation is responsible for more than 1.200 deaths of children under five years of age every day, which is more than the mortality of AIDS, measles and tuberculosis combined.4

3 KPCC (2020). Sepsis Kills Millions More Worldwide Than Previously Estimated. Visit source

4 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Disease & SWS Impact. Visit source