15 October 2011 - Sudan joins Global Handwashing Day 2011
Khartoum, Sudan - People across the globe are today celebrating the 4th annual Global Handwashing Day aimed to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease.
At the Family Club in Khartoum, Government officials will join community organizations and private partners with the participation of schoolchildren, famous football stars and other celebrities.
UNICEF and its WASH partners will provide handwashing facilities, and distribute soap in schools, community centers, and other public places.
Global Handwashing Day 2010 was hugely successful in Sudan, reaching an estimated twenty million peopleGlobal Handwashing Day 2010 was hugely successful in Sudan, reaching an estimated twenty million people.
Each year, more than 160,000 children in Sudan under the age of five die from preventable diseases such as acute watery diarrhea or respiratory infections. Washing hands with soap and water especially at critical times –after using the toilet and before handling food - helps reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease by more than 40 per cent. Despite these obvious benefits, handwashing is not practiced regularly in Sudan or in many other developing countries.
Research has shown that handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by almost 50 per cent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 per cent.
UNICEF is actively promoting handwashing as a regular and essential routine by organizing activities all across Sudan to raise awareness about the benefits of regular handwashing as a positive habit, and about the need to ensure that schools, hospitals, and communities have the support needed to make handwashing a regular practice and soap availability sustained in schools, homes, public restaurants, public toilets, and work places.