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WHO cites ARMM government's hygiene thrusts for schoolchildren

HEALTH • 22:15 PM Tue Oct 27, 2015
John Unson
Officials and schoolchildren wash hands together during Monday’s Global Handwashing Day commemoration by the executive department of ARMM. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- The hygiene thrusts in public schools of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) got a vote of confidence from the World Health Organization (WHO).Reporters learned of this Monday at the sideline of the ARMM government’s Global Handwashing Day (GHD) engagement in Cotabato City.The GHD event, which involved school children, was led by John Magno and physician Kadil Sinolinding, Jr., ARMM’s regional education and health secretaries, respectively.Also present in the program were ABS-CBN talent Ronnie Liang, now a GHD endorser, and representatives from theDeutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).The German GIZ entity has been providing the Department of Education in the autonomous region with technical assistance needed to hasten the agency’s hygiene programs for children.GIZ is currently installing 1,500 washing facilities in schools and learning centers across ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.In a recent communiqué for DepEd-ARMM, the headquarters of WHO in Geneva, Switzerland acknowledged the agency’s extensive advocacy for hygiene among schoolchildren in the autonomous region.WHO had also cited the regional government for observing yearly the GHD since it was launched four years ago. It is wonderful to hear about the Global Handwashing Day being celebrated all over ARMM. Such advocacy for hygiene ensures that all children can be clean and healthy to attend school,” the letter from WHO stated.A copy of the letter was shown to reporters by officials after Monday’s GHD activity in Cotabato City.The GHD is a global advocacy dedicated to promoting awareness and public understanding on the importance of handwashing to prevent diseases.The WHO said it is also important for children, from one year-old up, to be dewormed every six months. It is great to see the national and regional government working closely together to provide such strong support for this highly beneficial initiative,” the WHO said.More than 500 stakeholders from 59 government and non-government organizations in the ARMM joined the GHD program on Monday, which regional officials led.The GHD is also being supported by ARMM’s health department and the Australian-funded Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao Program.

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