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UNICEF celebrates Global Handwashing Day 2017 in Sudan

Global Handwashing Day was celebrated across Sudan starting from October 15 and throughout November. Following the major acute watery diarrhea (AWD) outbreak that affected more than 36,000 people in Sudan since August 2016 Global Handwashing Day was used as an occasion to motivate and mobilize people to wash their hands with soap. AWD is water-borne disease which risk of infection reduces if personal hygiene can be maintained. The campaign was dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to diarrheal disease prevention, including AWD.

Under the theme “Our hands, our future”, different States celebrated the Hand Washing Day with WASH sector partners in twelve (12) States in Sudan (South Kordofan, West Kordofan, North Kordofan, Blue Nile, White Nile, North Darfur, South Darfur, West Darfur, Central Darfur, East Darfur, Red Sea and Khartoum).

In some states, the day was organized under the local theme of “Our Heath at our Hands” which witnessed a big gathering from the local communities, government officials including state governors in several states, WASH partners and schoolchildren/ teachers. Participants took the event as an opportunity to change their behaviour by washing hands with water and soap at critical times- after using the toilet, before eating, after cleaning small children and before handling food. The delivered speeches emphasized on the importance of washing hand as a simple way to reduce the risk of disease transmission such as diarrhea(AWD) and respiratory infection especially among children. During these events, the schoolchildren performed songs and dramas which reflect the importance of washing hands. In addition, there was clear message to the teachers from Education Ministers and other decision makers to make sure all required hand washing facilities are in place for the schoolchildren and to be adopted as routine practice.

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