Healthy society

Clean Hands, Zero Bird Flu

Jan 26,2023

Colgate Palmolive, Thailand / USAID GDA / Thai Ministry of Health / Thai Ministry of Education (2007 – 2009)

Kenan partnered with Colgate Palmolive (Thailand), the USAID Global Development Alliance (GDA), the Thailand Ministry of Health, and the Thailand Ministry of Education to create the Clean Hands, Zero Bird Flu Program. The partnership educated more than 18 million elementary students in Thailand and Lao PDR on how to prevent the spread of avian influenza to humans through a seven-step hand-washing method. The program distributed posters, stickers, and DVDs to schools, and organized regional trainings for teachers on how to instill good hand-washing habits in children. With USAID support, the program added cartoon animation, jingles, an inter- active curriculum, and competitions to its activities. A nation-wide best-practices contest was held to recognize schools with the most innovative methods to promote good hand-washing habits among students and the community.

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An evaluation showed that the program led to a higher level of community engagement and support, including increased financial contributions, soap and hand-washing equipment donations, and other support from local communities. Furthermore, nearly 90% of students who joined the program later reported washing their hands more often as a result of their participation. Some 93% of students said they understood that washing their hands is a good way to protect themselves from the spread of influenza. More than 85% reported bringing hand-washing information and practices home to share with members of their families. The program was also adapted to the language, culture and educational system in Lao PDR, where during the first year two regional trainings for 150 teachers were held and Lao-language teaching materials were distributed to 500 schools in the regions of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champasak.

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