Reuters: Let 5-year-old Sherry tell you how handwashing with soap saves lives


For twenty-six year old Eunice from Migori County,Kenya, celebrating her daughter Sherry’s fifth birthday is a milestone that few of her friends have enjoyed. As with many areas of Africa, a child born in Migori is seven times more likely to die before the age of five, compared to a child in Europe.
Despite recent gains in improving maternal and child survival rates in Africa, the continent still rates the lowest in the world.  In Kenya, child mortality stands at 52 per 1000 live births and more than 6000 mothers die every year giving birth
For many mothers like Eunice, the survival of a baby is  often a hit or miss ,  four in ten newborn babies die within the first 28 days of life. These first days are when newborns are highly susceptible to infections such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and septicaemia, which require hospital treatment or intensive care in severe cases.
With almost one third of women in Kenya giving birth away from health facilities, it is easy to see how the odds of survival are poor.  Due to different factors such as infrastructure and culture, many mothers opt to deliver their babies in less than hygienic conditions.
My opinion piece with Dr Myraim Sidibe of Unilever:

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