Five cities in Metro Manila will demonstrate how the country can save lives, time, and money, as they join the first-ever “Philippine Spring Cleaning Day (PSCD).”
In its goal to push for cleaning and sanitation as one of the most effective ways to lower the country's disease burden, representatives from the Department of Health (DoH), UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), Reckitt Benckiser, Lysol, and several local government units are calling for better sanitation through the institution of the first Philippine Spring Cleaning Day.
On May 11, there will be a simultaneous cleanup across five cities, namely Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Manila, and Pasay.
“We hope to educate as well as to encourage the habit of cleaning and disinfecting of Filipino homes through this annual event,” says Marichu Gozun, Senior Brand Manager of Lysol.
According to a joint study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least 20 million Filipinos are exposed to poor sanitation. This means that one-fourth of the Philippine population has poor hygiene practices, do not have the benefit of an accessible and safe toilet, or do not dispose of human waste properly. The fact that less than half of Filipinos wash their hands after using the bathroom is a very telling statistic that speaks of the country's unfortunate attitudes towards cleaning and sanitation.
Being one with the PSCD's advocacy to educate Filipinos about the significance of cleaning and disinfecting, DoH Environmental Health Chief Dr. Rodolfo Albornoz says that families should be mindful of the harmful effects of poor sanitation not only on their health but also on other aspects of their lives.
For instance, poor sanitation affects productivity. “The rhinovirus–the virus responsible for approximately 50 percent of the cases of flu and the common cold in both adults and children–causes Filipinos to lose an average of eight school or work days a year,” shares Dr. Albornoz. Consequently, poor sanitation also results in increased economic losses.
The campaign's concentration on household cleaning is highly significant because proponents of the PSCD believe that even the home, which is supposed to be every family's place of refuge, can be unsafe. They note that bacteria dwell on everyday things in the home that are taken for granted. “What people do not know is that they are more likely to get sick from germs and viruses in their own homes than in any other place,” says PIDSP President Dr. Lester Deniega.
UP-NIH Executive Director Dr. Lulu Bravo agrees. “We invite everyone to take part in this initiative and join the fight against diseases,” ends Dr. Bravo.
Indeed, intensified cleaning and disinfection will go a long way towards helping the country save time and money, reduce economic costs, and increase productivity as well as people’s overall health and productivity.
Be part of the first public and private initiative for cleaning and sanitation, and join the Department of Health, Lysol and partner organizations as they celebrate Philippine Spring Cleaning Day on May 11. For more details, log on to www.philippinespringcleaningday.com and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/philippinespringcleaningday.
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