Global Handwashing Day marked at Kabul school
Manuchiri Girls’ High School students washed their hands alongside their teachers, representatives of UNICEF and several ministries. They were joined by Nesar Ahmad Bahave, the 2010 Asian Games silver medalist in taekwondo.
Thousands of school students marked the day across Afghanistan to spread the message that handwashing after using the toilet, before handling food, eating or feeding, prevents disease and nurtures health.
Minister of Education Dr. Assadullah Hanif Balkhi said: “Our health is in our hands.” He promised continued collaboration with the Ministries of Education, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and Public Health and support to UNICEF to advocate for handwashing with soap.
On behalf of the minister of public health, Prof. Bashir Normal said: “The ministry is pleased to celebrate the eighth anniversary of Global Hand Washing Day together with the Ministries of Education, Rural Rehabilitation and UNICEF.”
UNICEF’s acting deputy representative, Dr. Sherin Varkey, emphasised that Afghan children still faced high rates of mortality from infectious diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea.
“Handwashing with soap by mothers, carers and children can reduce diarrheal episodes in young children by an astonishing 42 percent,” said Varkey. “It is therefore vital that we encourage our children, especially those in schools, to develop the habit of washing their hands with soap…”
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