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UNICEF-assisted campaigns on sanitation and hygiene win 5 Anvil awards

©UNICEF Philippines/2018/Red Santos
UNICEF WASH Chief Louise Maule and Department of Health Engr. Rolando Santiago (center), together with officials from UNICEF and implementing partner, Center for Health Solutions and Innovations Philippines (CHSI), received three Gold Anvil Awards and two silver awards during the Public Relations Society of the Philippines 53rd Anvil Awards. The awards were for "Goodbye, Dumi! Hello, Healthy!", a behaviour change campaign to stop the practice of open defecation, and WASH and Learn, a communication campaign to teach and sustain proper sanitation and hygiene practices for day care children.

MANILA, 27 March 2018 – Two health promotion and communication programs on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) that UNICEF supported, won five honours at the 53rd Anvil Awards of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.

“Goodbye, Dumi! Hello, Healthy!” (GDHH) received a Gold Anvil award for sustained implementation, under the Advocacy Campaigns category. GDHH supports the Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) Program of the Department of Health. Designed by a local non-government organization, the Center for Health Solutions and Innovations Philippines, Inc. (CHSI), in partnership with UNICEF and the Department of Health, GDHH was first implemented in Masbate Province in 2015; helping 20 barangays increase the number of households with sanitary toilets and eliminating the practice of open defecation. It was scaled up in 2016, implementing the program in five other regions in the country (Region V, Region VI, Region VII, Region VIII, and Region XII)

“Our target is to achieve ZOD in all barangays by 2022. With the help of ‘Goodbye, Dumi! Hello, Healthy!’, we can reach this even before 2022,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Having a ZOD country can help address problems in health and nutrition of children and their families. “Open defecation poses the greatest risk to children’s nutrition. Children may suffer from diarrhoea, frequent bouts of worm infections and other diseases that impact their general health and lead to irreversible stunting,” said Julia Rees, UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative.

In 2017, the DOH launched GDHH as its health promotion campaign, with a series of trainings to help DOH regional offices and local governments roll out the campaign in communities where open defecation is widely practiced. In 66 demonstration barangays across nine provinces, the campaign has helped increase the proportion of households with sanitary toilets – from 60 per cent to 85 per cent in only eight months. So far, half of these barangays are already certified as ZOD communities.

The GDHH campaign won four other Anvils, including a Silver Award as one of the best and most effective campaigns for rural community development; while a storybook about a house fly’s penchant for human feces won a Gold Anvil for communication tools. Written by children’s storybook writer, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, “Ang Piyesta” is used by child development workers to introduce pre-school children to the dangers of open defecation.

A curriculum guide for child development workers was also awarded a Gold Anvil as an effective communication tool. These two communication materials are used in the “WASH and Learn” hygiene promotion program, developed by UNICEF and CHSI, to support the WASH in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the National ECCD Council.

“WASH and Learn” also won a Silver Anvil as a program aimed at specific stakeholders. “WASH and Learn” was implemented in Puerto Princesa and Northern Samar, helping children in day care centers adopt important hygiene practices like handwashing and brushing teeth. Over 500 child development workers were trained on how to use various communication tools as part of the “WASH and Learn” campaign.

The National ECCD Council will begin a series of training events on “WASH and Learn”, aiming to scale up the program in different parts of the country in May 2018.

“We share this recognition with all the mothers, fathers and children who have made that important decision to build their own toilets after seeing or hearing about our campaign,” DOH program officer Engr. Rolando Santiago said.

 

 
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