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Over 7000 School Children and Teachers Promote Handwashing with Soap in Five Regions of Uzbekistan

Print version
15 October 2016
Press release
3 3 Photos

Simple act of handwashing with soap could save children’s lives

TASHKENT, 14 October 2016 — Global evidence shows that washing hands with soap at critical times can protect children from deadly infections like diarrhoea and cholera.

UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Public Education in promoting this important behaviour among school students by rolling out a campaign in five regions — Djizakh, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Khorezm and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. The campaign will engage over 7000 school children in remote parts of these regions, their caregivers and school teachers.

On the eve of Global Handwashing Day, UNICEF says that in 2015, more than 300,000 children under the age of five died globally from diarrhoeal infections linked to poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation — a rate of more than 800 per day. Yet many of these deaths could have been prevented through the simple act of handwashing with soap.

«The government of Uzbekistan is committed to ensuring that children stay healthy and are protected from diseases like diarrhoea. Parents and teachers have an important role in promoting handwashing at home and in school," said Khilola Aslanova, WASH Officer, UNICEF Uzbekistan. She added that «handwashing makes sense as a preventive habit to keep children safe from disease — it’s simple, cost effective and a proven lifesaver.»

Proper handwashing practice also contributes to the healthy development of children. Handwashing actually improves school attendance by reducing the spread of preventable diseases, which means children are not staying home because of illness.

«Simple practices like handwashing with soap before meals and after using the toilet prevent diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea and reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal infections by 40 per cent," said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. «This result can be achieved by ensuring that children and families adopt a very simple solution — handwashing with soap», he added.

UNICEF urges children, families and communities to make washing hands with soap a habit to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Facts on Handwashing:

  • Approximately 1 in 5 people globally wash their hands with soap after using the toilet.
  • Each year globally, 1.7 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia.
  • When children wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet or before eating, they reduce their risk of getting diarrhoea by more than 40 per cent.

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About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.uz Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information, please contact:

Khilola Asnalova, UNICEF Uzbekistan, Tel: + 998 933803005, khasnalova@unicef.org
Maskim Fazlitdinov, UNICEF Uzbekistan, Tel: + 998 935050162 mfazlitdinov@unicef.org

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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