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By Sheila Crisostomo | Updated October 15,

2011 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of
Health and the United Nations Childrens
Fund (Unicef) yesterday embarked on a
metro-wide campaign to promote hand
washing particularly in urban areas, citing
the lives that can be saved by observing the
In an event held at the music hall of the Mall
of Asia in Pasay City celebrating todays
Global Hand-washing Day 2011, Unicef
chief for water and sanitation Timothy Grieve
said hand washing is all the more relevant
in the Philippines as we face the most recent
flooding caused by typhoons Pedring and
Hand-washing with soap can prevent you
from getting sick especially from diarrhea.
(Doing it) at critical times can reduce
diarrhea rates by more than 40 percent
that (means) more time at school, less time
at home, more time with friends, more time
for play, more time doing things that you
love, he said.
Yesterdays event, organized by Unilever and
attended by hundreds of students of Marcela
Marcelo Elementary School in Malibay, Pasay
City, was meant to dramatize the need to
educate children to do hand washing
properly and adequately.
The children were advised wash their hands
at least three times a day after playing,
before eating and after going to the comfort

But according to DOH Assistant Secretary Dr.

Paulyn Jean Ubial, people should wash their
hands around 20 times a day to strengthen
their protection against illnesses.
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There are evidences that repeated hand
washing in a day really reduces diarrhea
diseases as well as cough and colds. Droplet
infections are also prevented by frequent
hand washing when you do regular hand
washing as much as 20 times a day, she
Ubial, however, underscored that
washing should be done properly.


It should last two happy birthdays song,

thats about 20 to 30 seconds. And you
should cover all surfaces of your hands, she
She added that the nature of Filipinos as
hygienic individuals had been a factor in
keeping away the viruses of Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Influenza
A H1N1 that hit some neighboring countries
in the past years.
spokesman, said when it comes to good
health, prevention is always better than cure,
making it crucial to go back to the basic tool
in disease prevention proper hand washing.
He said in their latest project to promote
hand washing, they are targeting at least
December and Unilever will be providing
soaps and hand washing facilities that can
accommodate at least 40 children at the
same time.
The 2010 annual report of the Philippine
Integrated Disease Surveillance Response
(PIDSR) showed that there were 9,050 cases
of acute bloody diarrhea last year and

Crisostomo, S. (2011, October 15). DOH, Unicef promote hand washing vs diseases. Retrieved
July 26, 2015, from

majority of them involved children aged one

to four.

most of the victims were also children aged

one to four. With Perseus Echeminada

The report also showed that there were some

99,857 cases of influenza-like illnesses and

Crisostomo, S. (2011, October 15). DOH, Unicef promote hand washing vs diseases. Retrieved
July 26, 2015, from