More than 3 million children under 5 years old will die from infectious diseases next year and now, with the cold and flu season firmly upon us, the risk of infectious illnesses spreading thick and fast is far more prevalent.
To help combat unnecessary illness, The Global Hygiene Council recently launched their ‘Small Steps for Big Change’ report, which highlights five simple steps we can all take to make a difference.
The report featured some alarming numbers related to infectious diseases, including that a million children die from pneumonia, and another 700,000 die as a result of diarrhoea each year.
Watch the new video from the GHC and see which steps you can take to help reduce the spread of infectious diseases:
1 – Improved hygiene worldwide would lower infection rates and reduce the 2.7m deaths in children in their first month of life.
2 – Regularly wash your hands with soap and running water to reduce common infections, and reduce the possibility of diarrhoea by up to 50%.
3 – Each year 220m children suffer food born diarrhoeal diseases, so improved food and kitchen hygiene is a key step toward preventing unnecessary illness.
4 – Clean frequently touched surfaces to prevent the spread of infection. Viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
5 – Improving all round hygiene will lower the instance of infection and reduce the need to use antibiotics. It’s predicted that resistance to antibiotics will claim the lives of up to 10m by 2050.
The five-step plan has been developed by Global Hygiene Council experts from all over the world, and highlights changes we can all make, including improved hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection at home. These small steps could have dramatic results, such as halving the incident of diarrhoea and common childhood infections such as colds and flu.
Chair of the GHC and an infectious disease expert, Professor John Oxford said “It is unacceptable that largely preventable infections such as diarrhoea are still one of the biggest killers of children globally. Handwashing with soap has been shown to reduce diarrhoeal deaths by 50% and by developing this 5-step plan, we want to deliver a clear and consistent message about how small changes in hygiene practices could have a big impact on the health and well-being of children around the world.”
For more information on Small Steps for Big Change campaign, visit the Global Hygiene Council’s website.