Health Promotion Education under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has
announced that The Gambia will join millions of people around the world to
commemorate Global Hand-washing Day.
This was revealed on Thursday in a press briefing organised by the Health Promotion Education at National Nutrition Agency’s (NaNA) office along Bertil Harding Highway.
The Global Hand-washing Day which is celebrated every 15th of October according to the director of Health Promotion Education, Modou Njie, is funded by Global Hand-washing Partnership, an international coalition organisation working to promote hand-washing with soap. And this year, he said, it will be commemorated under the theme: ‘Our Hands, Our Future.’
Mr. Njie said hand-washing goes beyond protecting peoples’ health but can also prevent disease outbreaks, reduce school absences and promote healthcare outcomes.
He said despite these benefits hand-washing with soap is practice too rarely. “Despite these benefits, hand-washing with soap is practiced too rarely, and the results are tragic,” he said. “Every year, 1.4 million children die from diarrhea or pneumonia. Infection causes 15% of newborn deaths. Hand-washing is an effective way to prevent these losses,” he said.
Njie said proper hand-washing with soap at critical times can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children. “In fact hand-washing with soap at critical times-such as after using the toilet or before eating - can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by nearly half and respiratory infections by approximately 25%,” he said. “Good hygiene is necessary for good nutrition, particularly for children, and to prevent the spread of common diseases like colds and flu. For everyone, hand-washing with soap is a simple, but critical way to remove barriers to education and productivity.”
According to him, the health promotion unit of the ministry of Health and Social Welfare will embark on a nationwide tour awareness campaign on the need for hand-washing. As part of awareness campaign, the global hand-washing day will be commemorated on the 13th of March 2018 at Wassu in Central River Region.