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Improving food safety in Bangladesh

Global Handwashing Day — October 15, 2015; This year’s theme for Global Handwashing Day is “Raise a hand for hygiene”!


FAO- Food Safety Programme in Bangladesh in partnership with Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN) observed the 8th Global Handwashing Day-2015 in Dhaka and 10 other districts of Bangladesh.

The event in Dhaka was held at Rajdhani High School near the Parliament.

The event aimed to motivate children to embrace and share proper handwashing practices and to take on the role of handwashing ambassadors to their families and community. Fifteen hundred school children, teachers, parents, and guardians actively participated in the two hour celebration.

The function was attended by a number of dignitaries and representatives from FAO-UN, GO, and NGOs, BFSN members, civil society groups and a number of press and media personnel. The Honorable Minister of Information – Mr. Hasanul Haque Inu – was the Chief Guest, Dr. Mike Robson, FAO Country Representative was the Special Guest, , and Dr, John Ryder, Chief Technical Advisor, FAO Food Safety Programme, , Prof. Shah Monir Hossain, Senior National Advisor, FAO Food Safety Programme, and Dr. Zaiul Abedin, were the Guests of Honour. The function was chaired by Dr. Golam Rahman, President, Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB).

All speakers emphasised the importance of good handwashing practices by the children and also their important role as handwashing ambassadors in their families and communities. A 4-page booklet on food safety key messages, including five key messages on handwashing, was distributed amongst the children.

The key focus was to increase awareness and understanding of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease around the world. Handwashing with soap has a vital role to play in child survival and health. Approximately 2.2 million children aged under 5 years die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two causes of death among young children globally. Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among these children by 30%.