Villagers mark Global Handwashing Day

VILLAGERS of Natadradave in Dawasamu, Tailevu joined schoolchildren at their village to mark Global Handwashing Day yesterday, with the theme “Make handwashing a habit.”

Speaking at the event, Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Alex O’Connor said the simple habit could save lives, cutting diarrhoea by about 50 per cent and acute respiratory infections by about 25 per cent.

“Every year, 1.7 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap impacts not just health and nutrition, but also education, economics, and equity,” he said.

The assistant minister further acknowledged the elders of the vanua of Delakado, Vorovoro, Qelekuro and Veicorocoro Village for their support in making the event possible at Natadradave.

The Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap and water.

The idea was created in August 2008 during the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The Fijian Government had gazetted the event in 2010 to be an annual event.

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