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ALERT: Over 3 Million Children Die Each Year Due to Infectious Diseases

Nov 04, 2016 06:38 AM EDT

A new study by The Global Hygiene Council (GHC) revealed that millions of children under the age of five are dying every year due to preventable infectious diseases.

The study, titled "Small Steps for Big Change," highlights the importance of proper everyday hygiene to stop children from dying from infectious diseases that can be easily be prevented. According to the study, more than three million children under the age of five years old are dying worldwide due to infectious diseases. Among those, a million children die due to pneumonia and more than 700,000 die from diarrhea.

"It is unacceptable that largely preventable infections such as diarrhea are still one of the biggest killers of children globally," said Professor John Oxford, Emeritus Professor of Virology at the University of London and Chair of the GHC, in a statement. "Poor personal hygiene and home hygiene practices are widely recognized as the main causes of infection transmission for colds, influenza and diarrhea,"

Furthermore, the study also showed that more families are being complacent regarding the hygiene practices of their children. About 52 percent of the families worldwide do not increase surface disinfection during the cold and flu season. Additionally, about 31 percent reported food borne outbreaks within their own private homes.

Due to the alarming rate of children dying from preventable infectious diseases, the GHC proposed a simple five-step plan to be implemented by families, communities and health care professions, along with proper hand washing, to prevent the untimely death of children.

These steps include protecting children in their first months of life before their vaccination, preventing the spread of germs through proper hand hygiene, minimizing the risk of bacteria contaminating foods for consumption, stopping the spread of infection causing germs in homes and communities and breaking the chain of transmission by isolating infected children.

Proper hand washing with soap could reduce deaths due to diarrhea by 50 percent. With the proposed five steps, the GHC want to deliver clear and consistent message about how these simple steps can create a big difference in the health and well-being of children all around the globe.

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