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PIA Press Release
2009/10/17

VM Duterte leads handwashing demo for Global Handwashing Day

by Prix D. Banzon

Davao City (17 October) -- Initiated by SM City Davao, both government and private sectors carried out a handwashing activity on Thursday led by Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Z. Duterte and joined by children coming from both private and public schools in the city.

Duterte led the demonstration of handwashing in the mall where school children were taught the proper way to wash hands with soap and water. Vice Mayor Duterte was joined Councilor Leo Avila III, council committee chair on environment, Dr. Anabelle P. Yumang, medical specialist of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development, Charita Puentespina, council president of the Girl Scout of the Philippines and Cesar Cachero, assistant mall manager of SM City Davao.

Duterte who lauded the activity initiated by SM urged everyone to pay particular attention in handwashing as this will prevent the spread of diseases.

Yumang for her part said there are two deadly diseases that usually affect children and this can be prevented when they make the habit of thorough handwashing as they are vulnerable to infectious diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia.

She also reminded everyone that proper handwashing is a must after using comfort rooms and before preparing the food even as she said that washing the hands with water is not enough and the use of soap will facilitate the removing of grease and other dirt.

She said only when people follow the proper technique of handwashing then the spread of diseases could be prevented.

She said this advocacy is one way of promoting healthy lifestyle and improving healthy living.

Meanwhile the SM-led handwashing activity was the second simultaneous Handwashing activity for the year and this was held in coordination with the World Health Organization, UNICEG, DOH, Davao City government, GSP, Sustainable Development Solutions for Asia and Pacific and other government and private organizations.

Cachero said with their 36 malls nationwide they had been receiving an average of 2.8 million shoppers daily with 12,000 tenants served by more than 25,000 SM employees. With this size and reach he said SM has become information gateways and venues to promote and propagate worthwhile activities like the Global Handwashing Day.

He also said that as part of SM's corporate social responsibility and in relation to the Children's Month celebration this October they would like to continue such advocacy to help develop a healthy habit for the children and the future generations.

"Proper handwashing has been part of the mall's advocacy to inform and education their customers even before the SARS scare in early 2000 and we embraced that challenge to further step-up beyond what is necessary and continuously promote good hygiene and clean living," he said.

With SM Cares, he said they hope to reach out and help educate specially among children and to promote a collaborative effort so that everyone will develop a conscious effort to care for the health of one another. (PIA) [top]

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