Handwashing with soap is one of the most important public health interventions in the world.

Every year, 1.7 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases. This simple behavior can save lives, cutting diarrhea by almost one-half and acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter. Handwashing with soap impacts not just health and nutrition, but also education, economics, and equity. We like to call this the HN3E argument. You can learn about the role handwashing plays in each of these areas by clicking the above tabs.