Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said washing hands with soap is a simple action but the rate of frequent hand-washing with soap remains low in Vietnam, even at medical establishments.
Long stressed that it is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases such as hand-foot-mouth disease, diarrhea and typhoid fever, particularly among pupils.
The official called on sectors, administrations at all levels, organisations and media agencies to join hands with the health sector in promoting communication campaigns in different forms to raise public awareness of the importance of hand-washing.
At the meeting, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training and the Unilever Vietnam Fund pledged to jointly carry out programmes on improving public health and developing green, clean and strong schools in Vietnam for 2017-2022.
All participants washed their hands with soap at the meeting.
Since 2008, Vietnam has actively responded to Global Handwashing Day through various communication campaigns.
Diarrhea, which is caused by poor sanitation and clean water shortage, was ranked second among common diseases in Vietnam. However, many locals are yet to form the habit of regular hand-washing with soap.