6.3 million children under the age of five died in 2013 (WHO Factsheet September, 2014). Out of this magnanimous figure, more than half of under-five children deaths are due to diseases which are high preventable through simple, affordable interventions. Diseases such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections are examples of the causes of these deaths which can be prevented by simple hand washing with soap. Preventing these deaths is the aim of LifeBuoy through the #HelpAChildReach5 initiative towards reduction of child mortality and increasing a child’s chances of celebrating their 5th birthday. This initiative is being pushed as the world prepares to mark Global Hand-Washing Day on 15th October. I applaud the efforts by LifeBuoy in the adoption of Thesgora, an Indian village as they reduced incidents of diarrhoea from 36%-5% through the simple education on hand washing with soap!
Children under-five are at a high risk of getting infected with bacterial and viral illnesses as their daily activities mostly involves playing in the dirt, on the floor, putting their hands in every unimaginable crevice. The ground is their fortress. Naturally, their hands gets into their mouths, nose, eyes etc which are entrances for all kinds of germs. Therefore this initiative of teaching parents and children how to wash their hands with soap under running water is a simple but powerful method of helping reduce the mortality number of these precious little lives.
In Ghana, where cholera has risen to galaxial levels due to sanitation and poor hygienic conditions this initiative needs to be driven by the government, ngo’s, private institutions, schools, communities and in every home. Hand washing is not a 5 second activity and has to be done right.
Did you know washing your hands should take you about the same time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice? That’s about 40-60 seconds. But how many of us do that? Let alone teach our children to do same? I have lost count on number of times I see women get out of a washroom without using soap to wash their hands.
Please support this intiative by sharing LifeBuoy’s video from their YouTube channel below as every awareness you raise can save a child’s life today. Share your tweets about hand washing on social media using #HelpAChildReach5 and #LifeBuoyGHD to create the buzz as much as you can. Every tweet and share helps! Lets celebrate the 5th birthday of every child.