October 15, 2012 marks the 5th year of the Global Handwashing Day in the Philippines.

This yearly event aims to educate people about the  importance of hand washing with soap through a simple message:

“Clean hands save lives.”

Hand washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by more than 40 percent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.  In the Philippines, pneumonia and diarrhea are the 3rd and 4th leading cause of deaths among children under five respectively.

What are the 5 Critical Times for Hand washing?

  1. Before eating
  2. Before handling food
  3. After using the toilet
  4. After handling your pets
  5. After playtime

These are key moments when there is a high risk of transmitting germs from the hands to the mouth.  As such, instilling the habit of hand washing with soap during these critical times among young children is an important intervention to help reduce child morbidity and mortality.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Global Hand washing Day and stress the importance of hand washing after playtime, Safeguard who has been advocating this campaign since 2008, donates a playground with hand washing stations to Sitio Una, Taguig last October 10 (Wednesday).  The new playground at Sitio Una, and 4 others to come, is said to represent not only the past 5 years of Global Hand washing Day, but also Safeguard’s continued commitment to promote proper hygiene and health education for many more years to come.

Mr. Chad Sotelo, Country Marketing Manager for Safeguard, explains,

“Outdoor play is an enjoyable activity for children but it is also important in their development.  Through the donation of these playgrounds, Safeguard wants to enable children to play in an environment safe from harm and disease-causing germs”

In order to ensure that the playgrounds are sustainable and safe, Safeguard partnered with play experts PLAY Pilipinas.

“We at Play Pilipinas believe that every child should be given the chance to play, and to play in a safe and sound environment. Our advocacy is to provide low-cost, sustainable, and child-safe playgrounds for Filipino children. We are happy to have a partner in Safeguard that ensures kids will also have immediate access to soap and water after playing,” says Ms. Sigrid Perez, co-founder of Play Pilipinas.

Mr. Paul Perez, who co-founded Play Pilipinas with Sigrid, explains that the design of the playground differs per site, reflecting the character of the city.

“For Taguig, we tried to mirror the emerging high-rises and so the playground has high and low spaces as well,” added Mr. Perez.

Safeguard (Procter & Gamble) and UNICEF with partners like PLAY Pilipinas and Fit for School vows to continue their advocacy of teaching people the lifesaving habit of hand washing with soap.

“Handwashing education is and will continue to be the primary advocacy of Safeguard – not just on October 15, but every single day,” says Mr. Sotelo.



Like it? Share with your friends!


Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *