Hand Washing a Low Priority in Rural Cambodia
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 11:54:50 -0800 (PST)
Hand Washing a Low Priority in Rural Cambodia, Study Says; ADRA
Improves Hygiene Practices 31 Dec 2008 18:00:00 GMT
Source: Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International
Satha Sin, ADRA Cambodia / Nadia McGill and Hearly Mayr, ADRA
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this
article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are
the author's alone.
Silver Spring, Maryland�Only one in four rural Cambodians practice
appropriate hand washing regardless of access to clean water and
hygiene knowledge, according to a recent study presented by ADRA at
the World Federation of Public Health Associations/American Public
Health Association (WFPHA/APHA) Annual International Health Breakfast
held in San Diego, California.
Dr. Leonard Uisetiawan, provincial projects advisor for the ADRA
office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, who presented the study, discussed the
perception and hand washing practices among rural Cambodians.
According to Dr. Uisetiawan, the project concluded that less than 26
percent of rural Cambodians use good hand washing techniques
regardless of access to clean water and hygiene knowledge. In
addition, less than 6 percent of child caretakers properly washed
their hands after changing a child's soiled diaper or after
This research, funded by Colgate-Palmolive through the American Public
Health Association, also highlighted that the practice of hand washing
in Cambodian homes is not dependent on the availability of soap,
water, buckets, accessibility to hand washing areas, household size,
amount of children, mother's vocation, or educational level.
"There is a belief that hand washing with soap is a waste of money,
water, and time," said Satha Sin, public relations officer for ADRA
Through the findings of this project, ADRA will provide information to
parents that will help them improve the health of their children, by
promoting good habits as role models. ADRA hopes that parents'
approach to teaching personal hygiene, specifically hand washing, will
"By utilizing traditional values, perspectives, and community beliefs,
we expect to be able to increase the number of villages that practice
proper hand washing," said Dr. Uisetiawan.
The Hand Washing Research Project has been conducted over the past
year as part of "Phum Mittapheap Koma", a three-year initiative aimed
at improving rural health and reducing morbidity and mortality among
more than 22,500 women and 17,400 children in the Kampong Thom
According to the Cambodia Demographic Health Survey, nearly nine
percent of Cambodian children die before the age of five as a result
of diarrhea, which is associated closely with the ingestion of
contaminated food or water. The study identified this as one of the
leading causes of death among young children.
ADRA has been active in Cambodia since 1988 in the three main sectors
of Health, Water and Sanitation, and Food Security.
ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries
providing sustainable community development and disaster relief
without regard to political or religious association, age, gender,
race, or ethnicity.
Additional information about ADRA can be found at www.adra.org.
Author: Satha Sin, ADRA Cambodia / Nadia McGill and Hearly Mayr, ADRA
Media Contact: John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager, ADRA
International 12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring, MD 20904 Phone:
301.680.6357 E-mail: Media.Inquiries@xxxxxxxx
[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not
of Reuters. ]
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