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Celebrating Global Handwashing Day

October 15 is a celebration of Global Handwashing Day. This year, USAID IUWASH PLUS collaborated with several local governments and communities to celebrate this event while delivering a message to improve hygiene behavior.

In Medan city, North Sumatra, the city government together with the Office of Health, Education, Sanitation & Landscape, Housing, Settlement and Spatial Planning, PDAM Tirtanadi, PKK, Kotaku Program and USAID IUWASH PLUS celebrated this event in SD Model Perguruan Al Azhar on October 14, 2017. Around 400 students from 14 elementary schools also joined in the celebration. During the opening remarks, Dzulmi Eldin, the Mayor of Medan city said, “This event is very positive to increase awareness since early age, especially related to improved hygiene behavior.”

Zulmi Eldin, the Mayor of Medan city and his wife, Rita Maharani attending the handwashing with soap day event with elementary students in Medan.

In West Java, to celebrate the Global Handwashing Day, USAID IUWASH PLUS and the health cadres and sanitarians from Puskesmas held a handwashing with soap (CTPS) promotion activities to encourage the community to have a habit of handwashing with soap. These promotion activities were held in Bogor and Bekasi cities as part of the participatory assessment and triggering activities. Mamih, a community member of Kelurahan Margamulya in Bekasi said, “generally, people here are not used to washing hands with soap, although the cadres already told them to do so. After knowing the consequences and impact caused by germs in our hands, hopefully the community can be more aware and want to change their behavior.

On October 15, 2017, USAID IUWASH PLUS collaborated with Puskesmas Janti and community from RW 02 Kelurahan Sukun in celebrating the handwashing with soap day in Malang city, East Java. The event held in Kelurahan Sukun invited 50 elementary school students of Madrasah Ibtida’iyah Maarif and the communities from the surrounding neighborhood. In this event, the students learned about various sanitation facilities, for example, the individual and communal sanitation facilities, as well as the shape and function of septic tank and safely managed sanitation. Furthermore, the housewives under PKK also learned about the importance of handwashing with soap, delivered by Endang Listyowati, the head of Puskesmas Janti. “I am thanking USAID IUWASH PLUS that facilitated us in introducing handwashing with soap to become a habit in the community,” stated Dwi Cahyo, the head of RW 02 in Kelurahan Sukun.

In Magelang city, Central Java, USAID IUWASH PLUS has also supported the local government in organizing the handwashing with soap campaign, which was celebrated along with the launching of GERMAS (in Bahasa known as Gerakan Masyarakat Hidup Sehat/Healthy Living Community Movement) by Windarti Agustina, the Vice Mayor of Magelang city. GERMAS is a program designed to implement the vision of health development in Indonesia. This campaign was held in the city square on October 27, 2017 and attended by the officials and residents of Magelang city from various backgrounds. This campaign received positive feedbacks from the participants. “I really appreciated USAID IUWASH PLUS for supporting the vision of health development in Indonesia and in particular Magelang through this event,” said Fatma Murtiningsih, the Head of Health Office in Magelang city.

In the South Sulawesi and Eastern Indonesia (SSEI) region, the celebration of Global Handwashing Day was held in Makassar and Ternate. In Makassar, USAID IUWASH PLUS in collaboration with LemINA, a local NGO on child issues, held a CTPS promotion to around 150 students of SD Negeri Paccinang. In Ternate, the celebration was held in two occasions. First, as part of the Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Pledge) celebration in Kelurahan Salero on October 22, 2017, Kelurahan Salero held a competition on the practice of CTPS for women in the local neighborhood. The second activity was held as part of the series of Nasional Health Day activities in the Ternate Health Office; in the form of the coaching on CTPS and competition on the making of CTPS video promotion on October 20-21, 2017, and the celebration of the National Health Day on November 4, 2017.