Sunday, September 26, 2010

October 15th is Global Hand Washing Day

Celebrate with us on October 15th, Global Hand Washing Day, as we continue to educate and enable rural African schools with the benefits of hand washing with soap and water.

Did you know?
  • Of the approximately 120 million children born in the developing world each year, half (that's 60 million children!) will live in households without access to improved sanitation, at grave risk to their survival and development.
  • Poor hygiene and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to about 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases, accounting for 1.5 million diarrhea-related under-five deaths each year.
  • Children suffer disproportionately from diarrhea and respiratory diseases and deaths.
and in Mali alone.......
  • One out of five children in Mali dies before the age of 5! Half of these deaths are due to diarrhea and respiratory diseases caused by lack of hygiene. That means 1 out of every 10 kids in the villages where we work will never make it to first grade! If their family and friends had good hand washing practices, just imagine.......
  • Respiratory infections and diarreah are the second and third most prevalent causes of death in children in Mali, after malaria.
UNICEF’s experience in promoting hand washing with soap in schools as part of a larger water, sanitation and hygiene effort shows how important it is to involve children themselves as active participants with real project responsibilities rather than as passive targets of health messages. Combining hand washing with soap promotion with hands-on school improvements also creates in the children a sense of ownership that makes new behaviors more likely to stick.

Two of the six schools in Essakane now have hand washing stations for their students. Event Videos here: (French) - Mali 2008 competition - 10,000 kids demonstrated hand washing to break a record.

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