EVERY year there are about 1.7billion cases of childhood diarrhoea worldwide but the simple act of handwashing with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhoeal disease by about 47 per cent.
The statement was made by Ocean Soaps Limited quality control officer Claire Manulevu at Global Handwashing Day celebration at Lautoka Hospital.
"According to the global handwashing day organisation, handwashing with soap at critical times, such as after using the toilet, before eating and preparing food can reduce diarrhoeal risk by about 45 per cent," Ms Manulevu said.
"A study in England on handwashing with water only found that 23 per cent of people still had fecal bacteria on their hands.
"Washing with water only removes the visible dirt but using soap adds to the time spent washing your hands, breaks down the grease and dirt that carry most germs by facilitating the rubbing and friction that dislodges them and leaves hands smelling pleasant.
"The Global Handwashing Day organisation explains that more handwashing with soap would make a significant contribution to meeting the MDG of reducing deaths in children under the age of five by two-thirds by the year 2015." n More on Page 6