On October 13, the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports celebrated the Global Handwashing Day 2017 at Sikeud Primary School with 440 students in Naxaythong district of Vientiane Capital. The celebration was opened by the Chief of the Ministry of Education and Sports Cabinet, Mrs. Khanthaly Siliphongphanh, who remarked on the importance of handwashing, stating that “if children are healthy and study in a healthy environment, they will perform better in school and retain the knowledge to build their future lives.”
The Fit for School program focuses on measures that are simple, scalable, sustainable, and integrated into the education system. The program supports children in acquiring healthy habits and promoting sustainable behavior change through the implementation of daily routines, such as daily group handwashing with soap. The celebration was organized by representatives of the Ministry of Education and Sports from national, provincial and district level, in close cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Health, and in partnership with the German program Fit for School, implemented by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and SEAMEO INNOTECH, and ChildFund Laos. The German Ambassador to Lao PDR, H.E. Jens Luetkenherm emphasized during his opening address that “this incredible success of so many schools improving their daily hygiene practices is thanks to the school principals, teachers, representatives of the Ministries of Education and Health, and last but not least, because of the many people of Lao PDR, those Lao citizens who as members of their local communities have supported their schools and their children.”
On October 16, a second celebration of the Global Handwashing Day was organized in Nongnieng Primary School in Xaysettha district of VTE Capital. The Ministry of Education and Sports furthermore organized celebrations of Global Handwashing Day through their provincial bureaus in all of the other 17 Lao provinces. As of September 2017, already 1 060 schools across all provinces implement daily group handwashing and toothbrushing as part of the Fit for School program.
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© 2017 The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP).