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Keywords:

  • handwashing;
  • global health;
  • guide;
  • social handwashing;
  • WASH

Handwashing with soap is the single most cost-effective public health intervention that can decrease the incidence of various communicable diseases in developing nations. Unfortunately, handwashing interventions in resource-poor communities are often hindered by promotion of official handwashing guidelines that assume soap, clean water, and towels are readily available. In this article, the current handwashing recommendations and their applicability to hygiene interventions in developing nations were examined. The results of this review suggested that a new handwashing paradigm is needed to address the varying resources available for hand hygiene. Thus, a novel community handwashing guide was developed. This guide emphasizes the importance of increasing access to physical handwashing resources in developing communities, and can be applied to communities regardless of their socioeconomic status. The community handwashing guide promotes sustainable, incremental improvements in hygiene within a community, and is a more feasible approach than previous recommendations.