As part of our ongoing advocacy efforts, Smixin is engaged in a comprehensive research, led by the MIT, UC Berkeley and the University of Cyprus. The preliminary results of the research are now made available. The research proves the significant impact that hand-hygiene behavior at airports can have on the diffusion of infectious disease worldwide: Hand washing (with soap) whilst air travelling can reduce the risk of a pandemic outbreak up to 65%. Furthermore, it also identifies 10 airports that have a key role with regard to spread of global disease: when the ‘handwashing engagement’ increases at those airports only, the impact of the disease spreading worldwide could decrease already up to 37%.
It is the first time that academic research investigates the direct link between the outbreak of a pandemic and the handwashing behavior of the population in airports. With that, it is now possible to define a target handwashing ratio for airports to limit the spread of disease worldwide. The fact that people do not wash their hands with water and soap costs tens of thousands of lives per year. But even though handwashing is a cornerstone of public health, actual rates of proper handwashing around the world are quite low and vary widely: on average, handwashing with soap is only practiced 19% of the time.
At Smixin, we are constantly working towards smart solutions that make handwashing accessible for everyone, everywhere. Built on the clear preliminary results of this research, we will continue to engage authorities and airports to create more opportunities to wash your hands at airports. Smixin is excited to join the Global Handwashing Partnership, alongside partners like Procter & Gamble, the World Bank, and Unilever. Smixin, dedicated to reinvent the handwashing process completely, is proud to be joining these renowned companies in their efforts to increase awareness for handwashing.