A ceremony to observe Global Hand-washing Day (October 15) was held in the northern port city of Hai Phong on October 6 with the participation of leaders, policy-makers from ministries and organisations.

According to Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director of the World Bank, washing hands with soap helps prevent diarrhoea, pneumonia and other contagious diseases, and children are the most vulnerable to catch the diseases.

She stressed that washing hands with soap at the proper time could reduce the risk of infecting diarrhoea and respiratory diseases among children under five years-old by half and quarter, respectively. These diseases cause losses estimated at 780 million USD each year, equivalent to 1.3 percent of the annual GDP in Vietnam.

On the occasion, the Vietnam Women’s Union with 14 million members pledged to stand side by side with all families to promote the change in behaviours useful for women and children’s health in Vietnam.-VNA