Bosnians are sticklers for hand hygiene – but not so the Dutch

8th of January 2016
Bosnians are sticklers for hand hygiene – but not so the Dutch

The Dutch are the least likely nation in Europe to wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet, according to a study.

And Bosnia & Herzegovina is the continent's most hygienic country with 96 per cent of the population claiming to automatically wash their hands after a bathroom visit.

In a Gallup International study, only half of those surveyed in the Netherlands said they washed their hands after using the loo. Other hand washing-shy nations included Italy, where only 57 per cent automatically washed their hands; and Spain and France where the figures were 61 and 62 per cent respectively.

Moldova scored highly with a 94 per cent compliance rate, as did Portugal and Greece where 85 per cent of respondents said they routinely washed their hands. And the UK and Ireland had scores of 75 and 74 per cent respectively.

"We know that there are around 11 occasions in a day where we should wash our hands with soap," said Dr Myriam Sidibe, hygiene and nutrition social mission director for Unilever. "However in general, soap is only used about once or twice a day and sometimes as little as once in a week."

The global survey, which polled 62,398 people, also revealed that Colombia was the cleanest nation in the Americas with 93 per cent of respondents agreeing that they automatically washed their hands with soap.

Unilever's soap brand, Lifebuoy, aims to reach a billion people globally with a campaign to promote hand hygiene with soap as a way of reducing infections. The brand claims to have already reached 257 million people in 24 countries.



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