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Latin America sets new world record for hand washing11th of January 2012
The importance of hand hygiene has been highlighted by inhabitants of Latin America who have set a new world record for hand washing.
A total of 740,870 people chiefly from Peru, Argentina and Mexico washed their hands at the same time to mark Global Handwashing Day in October. Guinness judges have since been travelling to each of the countries involved to review registration forms; log hand washing times and count heads. Guinness has now announced that a new world record has been set.
The event was co-ordinated by the Pan American Health Organisation in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, and was staged in a bid to highlight the importance of hand washing in schools.
According to Global Handwashing Day organisers more than two million children under five die every year from diarrhoea and pneumonia?related illnesses. Research has shown that hand washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea among under-fives by almost 50 per cent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 per cent.
The previous hand washing record was held by Bangladesh, where 52,970 people were brought together in 2009 to wash their hands simultaneously.