Clinical Evidence that Safeguard Works

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Safeguard aims to give mothers a simple and effective way to defend their families against germs and preventable diseases. As the number one choice for mothers and health professionals, we are constantly researching ways that we can improve the health of families the world over.

Safeguard’s Clinical Research

As well as setting up local and national initiatives to educate children and their families about the importance of hygiene and hand washing, we also partner with some of the top universities and disease control centers in the world to research the best ways of keeping children and their families healthy and safe from germs. In doing so, we’ve discovered that the simplest approaches are usually the best. Most clinical research highlights the importance and effectiveness of hand washing as a preventative measure in the spread of infectious diseases, and reinforces the importance of regular hand washing.

Germs and Disease

Every year, 5.5 million people die from diarrhea or respiratory-related diseases like pneumonia. A further 140 million people fall sick, some gravely. The vast majority of deaths occur among children and infants in low and middle-income countries. Many of these deaths could be avoided if a programme of regular hand washing was introduced.

Hand Washing as a Preventative Measure

Washing hands with soap and water could prevent almost 4 million children a year from dying before their fifth birthday. This is because encouraging hand washing within the house interrupts the spread of diarrheal pathogens through hand-to-hand contact or via food. It’s particularly important in a house with children under the age of five, who are more vulnerable to the spread of infectious disease. In two recent studies, based within real communities in Pakistan and China, hand washing was shown to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease by 47% and respiratory infections by 16%. The clinical trials took place in schools and measured the incidence of sickness and death among children who had been provided with a simple hand-washing promotion programme. Children who had taken part in the programme had far fewer absences from school and their families reported far less sickness within the family, particularly among vulnerable infants. The conclusion of the trial in Pakistan was that in a setting in which diarrhea is the leading cause of child death, an improvement in hand washing within the household reduced the incidence of diarrhea among children at high risk of death from diarrhea.

How Clinical Research Informs Our Initiatives

Thanks to the research Safeguard initiated, we know for a fact that a simple hand-washing promotion programme in schools and households can make a huge impact on the health of children and their families, particularly in low and middle income countries. Hand washing with soap has literally been proven to save lives.