Soap does more than eliminate bacteria – it helps kids grow

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the international charity, WaterAid, observed approximately 9,500 children and their families’ hygiene practices. Fourteen studies were conducted in ten different countries, namely Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Guatemala, and Chile. Children whose families practiced good sanitation were about 0.5 centimeters taller than children living in households with poor hygiene habits. The half-centimeter height difference may seem insignificant, but for children under 5, the minimal height difference meant stunting was 15 percent less likely. Stunted growth affects 165 million children globally, and leads to reduced mental and physical health. This weakens productivity later on as an adult, and in some cases, causes early death.

The relationship between poor hygiene, malnutrition, and poor growth might seem like an obvious one, but Dr. Alan Dangour, public health nutritionist of LSHTM, tells BBC News, “This is the first time really that evidence has been provided to support the provision of water sanitation and hygiene interventions to improve growth.” Water-borne illnesses like diarrhea are caused by dirty drinking water, and children who repeatedly contract these illnesses are more likely to have problems growing. Dr. Francesco Branca of the World Health Organization states in the health news publication Medical News Today, “Until now, we have not had a demonstration of the direct nutrition impact of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions on nutrition.”

Washing our hands with soap and water is a common practice in the developed world. Public restroom signs constantly remind employees (and therefore clients) to wash hands before returning to work; shops contain aisles specifically for soap; and households buy various kinds – for the dishes, laundry, and bath. It’s easy to forget that having soap isn’t the norm all over the globe, but luckily there are some projects trying to make it so. Hand in Hand Soap, a business based on sustainable giving, was created in 2011 to help eliminate water-borne illnesses. Co-founders Bill Glaab and Courtney Apple learned that washing hands with soap could help reduce water-related deaths by nearly 50 percent. For every fair-trade organic soap bar purchased, Hand in Hand donates one bar of soap as well as one month of clean water through the construction of water wells.

Check out Hand in Hand in our Summer Auction. We’re partnering with them so you can bid on some quality soap that’s also socially responsible. It’s a small, but significant way you can help kids practice better hygiene.

Photo: handinhandsoap.com

Solution News Source

Soap does more than eliminate bacteria – it helps kids grow

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the international charity, WaterAid, observed approximately 9,500 children and their families’ hygiene practices. Fourteen studies were conducted in ten different countries, namely Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Guatemala, and Chile. Children whose families practiced good sanitation were about 0.5 centimeters taller than children living in households with poor hygiene habits. The half-centimeter height difference may seem insignificant, but for children under 5, the minimal height difference meant stunting was 15 percent less likely. Stunted growth affects 165 million children globally, and leads to reduced mental and physical health. This weakens productivity later on as an adult, and in some cases, causes early death.

The relationship between poor hygiene, malnutrition, and poor growth might seem like an obvious one, but Dr. Alan Dangour, public health nutritionist of LSHTM, tells BBC News, “This is the first time really that evidence has been provided to support the provision of water sanitation and hygiene interventions to improve growth.” Water-borne illnesses like diarrhea are caused by dirty drinking water, and children who repeatedly contract these illnesses are more likely to have problems growing. Dr. Francesco Branca of the World Health Organization states in the health news publication Medical News Today, “Until now, we have not had a demonstration of the direct nutrition impact of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions on nutrition.”

Washing our hands with soap and water is a common practice in the developed world. Public restroom signs constantly remind employees (and therefore clients) to wash hands before returning to work; shops contain aisles specifically for soap; and households buy various kinds – for the dishes, laundry, and bath. It’s easy to forget that having soap isn’t the norm all over the globe, but luckily there are some projects trying to make it so. Hand in Hand Soap, a business based on sustainable giving, was created in 2011 to help eliminate water-borne illnesses. Co-founders Bill Glaab and Courtney Apple learned that washing hands with soap could help reduce water-related deaths by nearly 50 percent. For every fair-trade organic soap bar purchased, Hand in Hand donates one bar of soap as well as one month of clean water through the construction of water wells.

Check out Hand in Hand in our Summer Auction. We’re partnering with them so you can bid on some quality soap that’s also socially responsible. It’s a small, but significant way you can help kids practice better hygiene.

Photo: handinhandsoap.com

Solution News Source

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