WaterAid on Friday joined the rest of the international community in celebrating the global hand washing day.
The ceremony took place in area 50 at Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe.
WaterAid Administration Manager Andrew Nyirongo said hand washing is something that is taken for granted but it is the cheapest and effective way of preventing diseases.
Nyirongo urged Malawians to wash hands at all important times in order to prevent diseases.
“Millions of children in Malawi and around the world die from diarrhoea every year but this can be avoided by simply washing hands,” he said.
Nyirongo further said hand washing is critical in saving lives.
“Making hand washing a habit could save more lives than a vaccine or any other medicine could do,” he said.
According to Nyirongo, the day is significant to Water Aid, because it is in-line with the organisation’s new strategic goals one of which is to see sanitation and hygiene recognised and prioritised across sectors as a public health concern.
Mayor of the City of Lilongwe, Willie Chapondera, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony said most babies who die in the first month could survive if they could have been cared for in a clean environment.
“Experts have estimated that one in five babies who die in the first month in the developing world including Malawi could have survived if they had been washed in clean water,” he said.
Global Hand Washing Day is celebrated every year on October 15 primarily to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of washing hands with soap.
The theme for this year is “Prioritising Sanitation and Hygiene Saves Lives.
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