NATION

Handwashing Helps Fight NCDs

Washing hands before eating and after visiting toilet has made a huge impact in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide, says Assistant Minister for Health Veena Bhatnagar. She said
16 Oct 2015 10:30
Handwashing Helps Fight NCDs
Global Handwashing Day mascot Octapas with students of Saint Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nasinu yesterday. This year almost 65,950 students in Fiji washed their hands with Protex Antibacterial Soap. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Washing hands before eating and after visiting toilet has made a huge impact in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide, says Assistant Minister for Health Veena Bhatnagar.

She said this during the Colgate’s Global Handwashing Education Programme, ‘Clean Hands, Good Health’ celebration at Saint Joseph the Walker Primary School in Nasinu, yesterday.

She said handwashing with soap eliminated 99 per cent of the bacteria and other infectious organisms that can cause disease.

“Washing hands with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases.

“This simple behaviour can save lives, cutting diarrhoea by almost one-half and acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter.”

Ms Bhatnagar said handwashing with soap impacts not just health and nutrition, but also education, economics, and equity.

Protex Antibacterial Soap in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Education, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Water Authority of Fiji, World Health Organisation (WHO), Live and Learn, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Asaleo Care contributed resources and handwashing materials to students.

This event hopes to empower children, parents and teachers to foster and influence behavioural change with a new habit to drive the importance of handwashing in Fiji.

The theme for this year’s global hand washing day was “Raise a Hand for Hygiene”.

This year almost 65,950 students washed their hands with Protex antibacterial soap.

Year Eight student Moape Vadei said: “It is very important for children to wash their hands to stay healthy.”

He said washing hands helped you to avoid getting diseases.

Colgate’s Global Handwashing Education Programme ‘Clean Hands Good Health” aims to remind parents and teachers that good hygiene practices need to be taught from a young age.

Meanwhile, the school also organised a drawing competition for students to celebrate the handwashing day.

shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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