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Saturday, February 20, 2010

UNICEF and Safeguard spearhead the Second Global Handwashing Day


UNICEF, Procter & Gamble (P&G) through Safeguard and partners aim to imprint the importance of handwashing with soap in the Philippines as they collect one million handprints from school children all over the country at the 2nd Global Handwashing Day event.

Aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease, the event at the Maximo Estrella Elementary School (Makati City) on October 15, 2009  kick-started the campaign as 1,400 students learned the right way to wash their hands and left their prints on the Global Handwashing Day wall. The program was hosted by Tonipet Gaba of Art Angel (GMA-7) and Tara, Let's Eat! (QTV-11).
 

Building on the hugely successful inaugural Global Handwashing Day in 2008 - wherein over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries, last year it was anticipated that millions of children across five continents marked Global Handwashing Day and lather up again in order to reduce life-threatening diseases, such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections and AH1N1.

Children suffer disproportionately from diarrheal diseases – with more than 3.5 million children under five dying every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related diseases. In the Philippines pneumonia is the 3rd leading cause of deaths among children under five, estimated at more than 10,000 children. Meanwhile, 10,000 die every year from diarrhea and the Department of Health (DOH) cited it as amongst the leading causes of death with a rate of 16 deaths per 100,000 children.


The simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrheal rates among children under five by almost 50 per cent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.

“Young children are often the most vulnerable to the risks posed by poor hygiene as they put their hands into their mouths and are easily infected with bacteria and worms, which deplete the body’s nutrients. Yet the simple habit of washing their hands with soap and water at key moments in the day can prevent them from getting sick with potentially deadly diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia,” said Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Country Representative.


“By washing their hands with soap and water, they remove bacteria and viruses,  preventing infection. Handwashing with soap also interrupts the transmission of disease by stopping dirt, bacteria and viruses from getting onto food or into the mouth.”

Global Handwashing Day also emphasizes the importance of using soap in handwashing. Around the world, the observed rates of handwashing with soap at critical moments range from zero to 34 percent yet rinsing with water is not enough; soap is needed as it breaks down disease-causing bacteria. Experts recommend that hands be washed with soap at critical moments: after using the toilet, cleaning a child’s bottom and before preparing or eating food.


In the Philippines, UNICEF has partnered with Safeguard, the Department of Health and the Department of Education to make last year’s Global Handwashing Day bigger and better. Under the slogan “Clean Hands Save Lives”, the driving theme for Global Handwashing Day is children and schools.
  
“Safeguard has always been the champion of the Filipino family in promoting good health and hygiene. Last year’s ’Laging Handa’ handwashing education program was able to teach proper handwashing to 800,000 children. This year we are starting our ‘Fit for School’ program in partnership with the Department of Education and our goal is to educate 3 million Grade 1 children on the important habit of frequent hand-washing,” said Maimai Madrid-Punzalan, Country Marketing Manager for Safeguard.  


The Fit For School program includes daily school-wide hand-washing activities at key intervals during the day – whereby the entire class will wash hands at the same time. It also integrates health education in the classroom through teacher guides, posters and story books.


HANDWASHING PLEDGE

Ako’y nangangako
Na maghuhugas ng kamay
Gamit ang sabot at tubig
Para sakit ay bye-bye!

Ngayong Global Handwashing Day
At sa araw-araw:
Tuturuan ko ang aking kapatid at kamag-aral,
Na bago kumain,
Pagkatapos magbanyo,
At tuwing hahawak ng madumi
Kamay ay huhugasan
At sasabuning maigi.

Malilinis na kamay na magandang tignan
Tubig at sabon lang ang ating kailangan!

Ikaw at ako at malilinis na kamay
Para sa ligtas na pamumuhay!


Global Handwashing day 2009
Philippines

KEY MESSAGES FOR GHD

  1. Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhea and pneumonia. Handwashing can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by almost half (44%). It can also help prevent flu.
  1. Handwashing with soap can help save lives of millions of children. Every year, diarrhea and pneumonia kill more than 3.5 million children under five years. In the Philippines, 10,000 die every year from diarrhea.

  1. Hands should always be washed after using the toilet and before eating.
  1. Rinsing with water is not enough. Using soap breaks down disease-causing bacteria and leaves hands smelling good.

Key facts:
GLOBAL

·      Diarrheal infections are the second most common cause of death in children under five. Every year, more than 3.5 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia. (UNICEF State of the World’s children, 2008)
·      Acute respiratory infections like pneumonia are the leading cause of child deaths (Global Handwashing Manual).

LOCAL FACTS FOR THE PHILIPPINES

  • Diarrhea is the 4th leading cause of deaths among children less than 5 years and the 3rd leading cause of child illness. It is estimated to cause 12% or almost 10,000 deaths a year (Making Child Survival Work in the Philippines, DOH/WHO/UNICEF, 2007).
  • Between 10 and 20%, or about 1.5 million cases of children under five have diarrhea at any one time. Prevalence of diarrhea is recorded highest at 20% in the Cordillera region, many cases in densed regions like NCR, followed by CALABARZON, Central Luzon and Central Visayas. (Making Child Survival Work in the Philippines, DOH/WHO/UNICEF, 2007. Figures based on National Demographic and Health Survey measuring cases over two weeks prior to the survey).

  • Pneumonia is the 3rd leading cause of deaths among children under five, estimated at more than 10,000 children (Making Child Survival Work in the Philippines, DOH/WHO/UNICEF 2007). 
  • About 10% of children below 5 years had symptoms of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) – cough accompanied by short, rapid breathing in the 2 weeks preceding the survey. This translates to about 1 million new episodes or cases in children (NDHS, 2003).
  • 70% of preschool children are host to at least one type of intestinal helminthes infection and 7 out of 10 children (aged 3-12) suffer from intestinal worms (STH Survey, 2004).

Handwashing Facts

·      Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by 44% (Fewtrell et al., 2005). It reduces acute respiratory infection rate by about 25% (WELL Fact Sheet). Handwashing can also prevent skin and eye infections, intestinal worms, and flu (Global Handwashing Manual).

·      Young children are most vulnerable to the risks posed by poor hygiene. Children often put their hands into their mouths. Children are easily infected with bacteria and worms, which deplete the body’s nutrients (Facts for Life, 2002).


·      Handwashing with soap can save the lives of millions of children worldwide. Better sanitation alone (provision of toilet facilities and clean water) could reduce diarrhea-related diseases by more than a third; improved sanitation combined with better hygiene behaviors (handwashing, bathing) could reduce it by two thirds. (Fewtrell et al., 2005)

·      Handwashing with soap and water is the simplest, most cost-effective way of improving sanitation and hygiene (Facts for Life, 2002). A $3.35 investment in handwashing brings the same health benefits as an $11.00 investment in latrine construction, a $200.00 investment in household water supply and an investment of thousands of dollars in immunization (Jamison et al., 2006).


·      Unfortunately, many children do not wash their hands. This is due to:

    • Lack of access to water and basic sanitation facilities.
    • Poor hygienic practices, customs and traditions
    • “Common practice” – handed-down practice from parents
·      Around the world, the observed rates of handwashing with soap at critical moments range from zero to 34 percent (Global Handwashing Manual).


·      Hands should be washed with soap at critical moments: after using the toilet, cleaning a child’s bottom and before preparing or eating food (Global Handwashing Manual).

·      Washing hands with soap and water removes bacteria, viruses and prevents infection with parasites and worms. Washing hands interrupts the transmission of disease by stopping dirt, bacteria and viruses from getting onto food or into the mouth (Global Handwashing Manual).


·      It can also help prevent skin infections, eye infections, SARS, Avian flu, A(H1N1) flu and benefits the health of people living with HIV and AIDS.

·      Rinsing with water is not enough – both hands need to be rubbed with any brand of soap. Using soap adds to the time spent washing and breaks down the bacteria through the rubbing and friction that dislodge them. (Global Handwashing Manual).

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