Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ministry of Health & Wellness Commemorates Global Handwashing Month 2022


Global Handwashing Day 2022 is being celebrated today under the theme, “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene.” This annual event, which is commemorated in partnership with UNICEF and the Water Sanitation and Hygiene Multi-Sectoral Body, is a global call to action to raise awareness of handwashing.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness and the WASH MSB continue to stress the importance of hand hygiene as it remains the first line of defense in preventing outbreaks. The solution to saving lives exists with soap and clean water. Curbing the spread of water-borne diseases like cholera and diarrhea is critically important as the world faces natural disasters and humanitarian crises such as the disruption of water and sanitation systems, and even the displacement of populations to overcrowded areas. Awareness and education on water treatment and public health actions such as cleaning drinking water and delivering water purification tablets aim at preventing and controlling potential outbreaks. Thus, the multifaceted approach including water, sanitation and hygiene, along with social mobilisation, encourages national preparedness to respond.
Now that schools have reopened and resumed normal schedules, the ministry encourages maintaining high standards of hand hygiene. Encouraging the practice of handwashing habits, especially among children and communities, is a key factor in promoting good health and well-being. Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing efforts have scaled up through coordination with partners and continuing to promote these collective efforts will give handwashing the priority it deserves.
Throughout the month, activities will include hygiene promotion, education sessions and handwashing demonstrations at community centers, schools and during home visits conducted by the community health workers. Prevention messages, including the steps to clean and treat water, and emergency aid will continue to be disseminated with the assistance of local partners on the ground, including the Belize Red Cross. To mark the occasion in Belize, a health fair was held at Bella Vista R.C. School on Friday, October 14, with a display of children’s handwashing drawings, the unveiling of a mural, information booths, the donation of hygiene packages and handwashing stations to the school.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness along with the WASH Multi-Sectoral Body – UNICEF, the Belize Red Cross, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, Rotary, and the Belize Social Investment Fund remain committed to water sanitation and hygiene.
As the world moves to a new normal following the pandemic, we must unite for universal hand hygiene.

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