Families in Low-Income Countries Lack Household Soap

July 7, 2017

A study headed by the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, shows that proper handwashing is rare due to a lack of soap and must be dramatically improved in low-income countries.

The study, which was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and UNICEF among others, used data from surveys conducted in more than 50 countries to compile a list detailing the proportion of households in a given country that had soap and water present in the handwashing area. While there was extreme fluctuation in the data—ranging from 0.1 percent in Ethiopia to 96.4 percent in Serbia—the poorest households in each country often represented the lowest percentages, Infection Control Today reports. One suggested possible solution was increasing access to soapy water as a cheaper alternative, especially for exceptionally impoverished areas.