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Azkals Joins UNICEF and Partners to Celebrate Global Handwashing Day in Cebu

© UNICEF Philippines/2011/Villasenor
Chieffy Caligdong, Ian Araneta, Edward Sacapaño, Roel Gener, Misagh Bahadoran, Angel Guirado and Nate Burkey of the Azkals wash their hands using soap with children from Sabang Elementary School in Sibonga Cebu Province for Global Handwashing Day 2011

It doesn’t take much – nor a long time – to wash our hands properly, however handwashing with soap is still a habit many need to form as a simple yet effective protection against disease.

To raise awareness on the significance of proper handwashing with soap, the Department of Education, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Fit for School and the Philippine National Football Team, the Azkals, came together to celebrate this year’s Global Handwashing Day at Sabang Elementary School, Sibonga, Cebu Province by holding a football clinic and leading the children in the grand handwashing with soap.

Handwashing with soap, considered the simplest intervention, has proven to be the most effective as well in dealing with these infections as it interrupts the transmission of diseases from one infected person to another. It should be done especially during the critical moments – before and after handling and eating food, after a bathroom break, after cleaning a child’s bottom, and after playing.

The simple act of washing hands with soap at critical moments is an easy and affordable intervention that can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by almost 50 per cent, and cut respiratory infections by as much as 25 per cent. 

The grand celebration also marked the launch of the essential health care program (EHCP) of the Cebu Provincial government through the efforts of Cebu Province Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

Azkals goalkeeper Ian Araneta teaches young girls in Sabang Elementary School, Sibonga, Cebu Province the proper way to kick a ball in this year’s celebration of Global Handwashing Day in Cebu province.  Photo by Dexter Bongo/Cebu, Philippines

Azkals co-captain Chieffy Caligdong does a football drill with young members of the local football squad in this year’s celebration of Global Handwashing Day in Cebu province.  Photo by Dexter Bongo/Cebu, Philippines


About Global Handwashing Day:
Global Handwashing Day is celebrated on October 15. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap initiated Global Handwashing Day in 2008, and it is endorsed by governments, international institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs, private companies and individuals around the globe. Visit

For more information on the Essential Health Care Program and Fit for School please visit



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