Although many people around the world clean their hands with water, the use of soap is also necessary to more effectively prevent disease.
* Millions of children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world.Most of the photos and stories are from Africa and South Asia, but this is truly a global issue that each generation needs to learn. In low mortality societies it is easy to forget a key lesson about our low mortality and good health--prevention is always the best medicine. That's why vaccinations are so important, and that is why washing your hands is so important. For years I have sent students off to this website regarding studies of people who wash up (or don't!) at public bathrooms in airports. Kind of creepy and I doubt that things have gotten any better since that study was done.
* Handwashing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infections like pneumonia.