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Chapter 1 - The value of hygiene

Many of us take good personal hygiene and access to basic sanitation facilities such as clean water or a toilet for granted. But what happens when your access is limited? What if you do not have access to clean water or a toilet, or cannot afford hygiene products? 

Personal hygiene is a problem strongly linked to education and socioeconomic development. Good hygiene practices must be guaranteed to enable universal participation in education, the workplace and the development of society as a whole.

The value of good hygiene is not restricted to basic facilities, or developing countries. Several scientific studies show the value of good hand hygiene in reducing the number of hospital acquired infections,such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics), which is also a significant problem in modern healthcare is one word systems. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were 722,000 cases of hospital-acquired infections in the country in 2011. Of these, 75,000 patients died.