In Brief: Mass handwashing event in Bangladesh

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Eighteen million children in 85,000 schools across Bangladesh washed their hands with soap to mark National Sanitation Month on 25 October.

We are also reaching marginalized groups like hawkers, street-dwellers and garbage collectors for the first time, said Shirin Hussain, communication for development specialist at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Bangladesh, adding that government officials and NGO representatives also participated in handwashing demonstrations across the country.

Handwashing may seem self-explanatory, but experts say it is not always done properly. “Everyone knows it’s a good habit to wash their hands but they don’t do it. Much research has shown washing hands with soap is a lot more effective, reducing diarrhoea by 40-50 percent,” said Valerie Curtis, director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

from IRIN

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