World Hand-Washing with Soap Day 2011 in Timor Leste
"HaburasKulturaFaseLiman ho Sabaun"
Dili, 14th October 2011. Diarrheal diseases remain one of major public health problem in Timor Leste. Among children, this problem is even bigger. Diarrhea is among the top two causes of infant and child mortality in Timor-Leste. Diarrhea alone is responsible for approximately 380 child deaths per year in Timor-Leste.
MOH reports showed that in the last five year, every year more than 60,000 acute diarrheal and more than 11,000 diarrhea-with-blood cases were reported. These figures were only those reported from health facilities (MoH SIS 2011). There were still many cases that in the community that has not attend health facilities.
These can be and must be prevented.
Handwashing is one of the most effective means of preventing diarrheal diseases, along with safe stool disposal and safe and adequatehousehold water supply. Evidence suggests that improved handwashing can have a major impact on public health in any country andsignificantly reduce the two leading causes of childhood mortality ΓÇô diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection. Becausehandwashing with soap can prevent the transmission of a variety of pathogens, it may be more effective than any single vaccine orhygiene behavior. Promoted broadly enough, handwashing with soap can be viewed as an essential do-it-yourself vaccine. Almostevery household in the world, regardless of economic status, has soap. Handwashing with soap at key times, however, is not widelypracticed.
The most critical time to wash your hand with soap is after defecation, after cleaning up a child and before preparing or touching foods.
Today, Timor Leste celebrates World Hand-Washing with Soap Day 2011 with theme of ΓÇ£HaburasKulturaFaseLiman ho SabaunΓÇ¥ (Strengthen culture of washing hand with soap). This aims to remind all Timorese people that hand washing is part of our culture that have been practice from generation to generation. So, all Timorese people should practice hand-washing with soap in their daily life. Today, all community members: from kindergarten till university students, from grand children tillgrand-parents, from community till minister, all people celebrate this important day to once again confirm our commitment to practice and campaign hand-washing with soap. After this, all people will always wash their hand with soap, as a part of daily life, as a part of Timorese culture.
Our celebration today is enlightened with music concert. The songs are all about health and hygiene live. All of songs were created by young Timorese artists from almost all districts. This is to show that hand-washing is enjoyable.
In this celebration, Timor Leste also noted national record of 2011 people washing their hand with soap together at the same time.
Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education would like to thank to the following development partners to make this event successful:
1. Australian AID through Program BESIK (Bee, Saneamentu no IjieneIhaKomunidade)
2. Unicef Timor Leste
3. Plan Timor Leste
4. Save the Children
5. Child Fund Timor Leste
7. Water Aid
8. CARE International
9. Faculty of Health Science, University of Dili (UNDIL)
10. 14 Eskola, no Grupuartista Ego Lemos,
For more information please contact:
Isabel Gomes, DirectoraNasionalSaudeComunitaria, Mobile: 723 5033
Ivo Cornelio LopesGuterres, Head of Environmental Health Dept., Mobile: 724 5707