HUNZA, Oct 16: The children of Hunza celebrated the United Nations’ first Global Hand Washing Day to create awareness of the benefits of washing hands with soap.In this connection, a programme was held on the premises of Government Boys and Girls School by the Hyderabad Rural Support Organisation (HRSO) with the collaboration of Unicef, RSPN, Local Government and Rural Development (LG&RD) and AKRSP.
The schoolchildren from Hyderabad and Karimabad highlighted the importance of washing hands with soaps through performing skits, speeches and songs.
A large number of people including parents, teachers and notables attended the function. The speakers said the simple routine of washing hands with soap was one of the most effective ways of preventing diseases. They said washing hands with water alone is not enough “because you fail to wash off the germs”.
According to research, using soap to wash hands, particularly after contact with excreta, can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by over 40 per cent and respiratory infections by 30 per cent.
The similar programme was also organised at the Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled People in Hyderabad and Hunza. The activists through practical demonstrations created awareness of washing of hands with soaps among the disabled people.
HRSO is implementing a community-led total sanitation programme in Hyderabad and Hunza to improve the defecation and sanitation system in the village.
According to a survey conducted by HRSO, 40-45 per cent population of the village was using soap to wash their hands which has increased to 70-75 per cent after the project interventions. About 20 per cent households still have open drainage and 25 per cent having open defecation. The UN is also celebrating 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.