Handwashing with soap is the single most cost-effective public health intervention and its impact on the main two contributors of under-5 deaths - diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections - has been extensively studied and proven. Our analysis indicates that the distribution of SaniTaps in the context of best-practice health education or behavioral change programs is one of the most effective and affordable way to saves lives.
In Angola, cost-per-life saved could be as low $1,100.
Unparalleled health impact
The impact SaniTap is able to achieve varies from country to country, and is dependent on that country's incidence of diarrhoea and pneumonia. In countries with high-disease burden, such as Angola, we forecast we can save 3.1 lives for every 1000 SaniTaps.
In countries where there is a relatively high-incidence of both diarrhoea and pneumonia amongst under-5's, cost-per-life saved could be as low as: $1,100 in Angola; $1,179 in Somalia; $2,061 in Nigeria; $2,289 in Afghanistan; $2,353 in Mali; and $2,598 in South Sudan.
Reduced school absenteeism
Three new studies suggest that handwashing promotion in schools can play a vital role in reducing absenteeism among primary school children. As a result of handwashing practices being implemented at primary schools in China, Colombia and Egypt, absenteeism due to diarrhoea and respiratory infections dropped between 20% and 50%.
Handwashing with soap can reduce school absenteeism by between 20-50%
Our calculations are based on the approach described in the renowned paper "What can hand hygiene do for the world?", by highly-respected hygiene specialists Kate Greenland, Sandy Cairncross and Val Curtis.
We combine this with conclusions from studies on handwashing’s health impact, which have shown risk reductions of severe diarrhea by 48%; the risk of any diarrhea by 47%; and a risk reduction of lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia of up to 23%.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization provides country and age specific data mortality rates for pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.
Calculations are based on the following assumptions:
- No effective handwashing with soap before the distribution of SaniTap;
- The number of lives saved is proportional to the reduction in risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia;
- 2 children under 5 years of age are protected for each SaniTap used;
- Does not include lives of neonates (under 1 month)
For further information on our approach, or if you would like to provide detailed breakdowns as part of a submission or tender please get in contact.
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