Over 3,600 representatives from ministries, sectors, organisations and students attended a ceremony in Hanoi on October 17 to launch the hand in hand against infection programme in response to the Global Hand-washing Day.
Speaking at the ceremony held by the Ministry of Health and Unilever Vietnam Fund, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long highlighted that pollution and climate change have led to the emergence of epidemic diseases, such as SARS, MERS-CoV, Ebola and viral hemorrhagic fever, leaving great damage to people’s health, security, economy, politics and society.
The programme aims to mobilise authorities, organisations and individuals to proactively participate in disease prevention activities while asking the public to respond to the programme through hand-washing with soaps and good personal and environmental hygiene, he said.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diarrhea kills around 2.2 million people globally each year, mostly children under five years old. However, the infectious agents can be stove off by a simple and effective solution- washing hands with soaps, which can reduce instances of diarrhea by 35 percent and prevent other contagious illnesses.
The Unilever Vietnam Fund has implemented the programme “Hand-washing with soap for a healthier Vietnam” during 2011-2015 period to raise public awareness of disease prevention to improve health and hygiene as well as better off livelihoods for Vietnamese people.