State of the World’s Hand Hygiene

A global call to action to make hand hygiene a priority in policy and practice

Hands washing with soap under a tap
UNICEF/UN0410134/Stephen/Infinity Images


The simple act of cleaning hands can save lives and reduce illness by helping prevent the spread of infectious diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hand hygiene received unprecedented attention and became a central pillar in national COVID prevention strategies. However, both access to the facilities to practice hand hygiene and support for the behaviours required are missing in many settings. If current rates of progress continue, by the end of the SDG era in 2030, 1.9 billion people will still lack facilities to wash their hands at home. This report outlines the current state of hand hygiene in the world, and how governments, communities, individuals and other stakeholders can accelerate progress to achieve hand hygiene for all.

State of the World's Hand Hygiene
Publication date
English, French