The Unilever Vietnam Fund has helped to build and upgrade 20 public toilets while improving public awareness of personal and environmental hygiene in 20 communes in 10 districts of 10 cities and provinces nationwide.

The results were released at a conference in Hanoi on May 8 to review the implementation of a 25 billion VND project to improve community health, focusing on personal and environmental hygiene.

The five-year project, starting from 2007, is part of an agreement between the Unilever Vietnam Fund and the Health Environment Management Agency.

In 2011, the project trained 840 instructors, 840 teachers at primary and secondary schools and 600 communal officials.

As a result, the number of people adopting the habit of using soap to protect themselves from diseases such as diarrhea, bird and swine flu and foot-and-mouth rose significantly.

Cities and provinces benefiting from the project include Bac Giang, Vinh Phuc, Ha Nam and Hai Phong in the north and Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in the central region.

In 2012, with the new name, “Washing hands with soap for a healthy Vietnam”, the project will come to 24 communes in 12 districts of 12 cities and provinces, including Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Bac Giang, Hoa Binh, Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, Hai Phong, Ha Nam and Nam Dinh in the north and Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh in the central region.

With over 6 billion VND funded by Unilever Vietnam Fund and 275,000 bars of soap, the project aims to improve awareness of over 80 percent of local people of personal and environmental hygiene and help to build and upgrade 24 public sanitary facilities in targeted localities.-VNA