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PIA Press Release
2009/10/13

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

Kalibo, Aklan (13 October) -- October 15 has been declared as Global Handwashing Day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) diarrhea kills almost 2 million children all over the world each year. A UNICEF report indicated that more than 5,000 children die everyday from diarrhea before they reach their fifth birthday. Diarrhea is the second most common cause of death in children.

Studies have shown that washing hands with soap can reduce deaths from diarrhea by almost 50 percent and deaths from acute respiratory infections by 25 percent. Handwashing with soap is the single most cost effective health intervention to prevent death and diseases that are related to diarrhea. It can save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.

In Aklan, Sonia M. David, Provincial Garantisadong Pambata (GP) Coordinator, said that it is important that hands should be scrubbed with soap for at least 20 seconds. Hands should always be washed with soap after using the toilet, before eating, and before handling food.

According to David, as part of GP's service delivery, certain activities will be conducted this month such as Vitamin A Supplementation, deworming, immunization, and oral health.

Garantisadong Pambata is an institutionalized Pre-Schoolers Health Campaign nationwide, conducted every third week of the months of April and October every year. The DOH campaign on GP coincides with the celebration of the Global Handwashing Day.

The Provincial Government of Aklan and the United States Agency for International Development support Garantisadong Pambata and Global Handwashing Day with the hope of improving child survival and having a healthier future for children and families by drawing attention to the importance of washing hands with soap and water. (PHO/PIA) [top]

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