Dr Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains how we can save millions of live by washing our hands after going to the toilet, and especially before eating food. She was talking at a party for primary school children held in London's Science Museum to celebrate Global Handwashing Day, where Grace Mukasa chief executive of AMREF (African Medical And Research Foundation) and perfume expert Kate Williams from the Seven Scent company add their comments on how best to help children learn the habit of washing their hands.
An audio podcast is available with interviews by those taking part as well as a song by popular South African signer Yvonne Chaka Chaka . http://www.lashtm.ac.uk/news/audio
Visit the global handwashing day website for games, posters and activities from around the world. http://www.globalhandwashingday.org/
Journalist Nicky Taylor wanted to find out whether we had become too concerned with being clean and should we be worried about the health and social implications of not being clean? Listen to the discussion with Val Curtis, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Hygiene Centre on the BBC’s website.
A survey carried out by Val Curtis, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Hygiene Centre, quizzed more than 300 secondary school children and found many were worried about using their toilets because of the filth and the threats, leaving them unable to wash their hands and vulnerable to diseases, such as E.coli and gastroenteritis.
Read the rest of the article by accessing the BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11540274
Hand washing fact box:
Friday has been designated Global Handwashing Day, an annual, global initiative which seeks to promote handwashing with soap - the most effective and cheap way of preventing diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections.
These two diseases, in combination, cause the majority of child deaths, killing millions in developing countries each year. The following stories and internet links are associated with the above reports from the BBC website.
Related Internet links:
Listen to Val on this episode of Global Business on BBC iPlayer.
Now wash your hands!
In this edition of Global Business Peter Day hears some simple ideas about cleanliness which could change the fortunes of poor people around the world, hearing from three projects about the techniques of big business - marketing in particular - they are using to carry their messages. The first message comes from Val Curtis who says that handwashing with soap is the single most cost effective intervention to save lives in developing countries – one million lives could be saved every year. Val is working with producers to make soap available at prices – and sizes- suitable to the pockets of the poor.
The aim of the project is to test the effectiveness of a scalable intervention for promoting hand-washing with soap in a rural, developing country context. The results will provide urgently needed evidence as to whether such efforts can effectively be delivered at low cost in rural areas throughout the developing world, and thus significantly alleviate a major health burden: morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease. If successful this would also represent a major advance in our ability to change health-related behaviour at scale.
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. For more information please visit the official World Water Day site.
Cairncross and Val
Curtis the Group’s respective leaders, guided
staff and visitors through a review of current work
in Point of Use Water, Schools, Sanitation and Handwashing.
Other sessions covered Behaviour Change Models, Understanding Behaviour, Motivation and Disgust.
We also heard from Dhanraj Chokappa
Research Technical Resource Development Director at Hindustan
Unilever Ltd and Amit Chakrabortty, also of Unilever
Day 3l concentrated on a brainstorming session preparing proposal ideas for prospective fund application during 2010. These centred around sanitation and hygiene themes such as sanitation financing, water initiatives in West Africa and improving hand cleansing.
Click here to download a review of work undertaken by the Hygiene
Centre during 2009
Valerie Heywood joined the Environmental Health Group on the 4th January. Valerie is a new Finance Officer and will be working within the Administration and Finance Team.
Wolf-Peter Schmidt has left the Hygiene Centre to take up a studentship in Japan for one year. Wolf is now based in the Institution of Tropical Medicine at Nagasaki University.
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