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Survey: 40% people know about handwashing with water and soap

  • Published at 09:32 pm December 31st, 2020
BBS study
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) unveils the report of “National Hygiene Survey 2018” conducted with support from Unicef Bangladesh and WaterAid on Thursday, December 31, 2020. UNB

The report revealed that 36% adolescent girls knew about menstruation before their first period

40% respondents said that they know handwashing using water and soap is necessary before eating, said Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in a report.

The BBS on Thursday unveiled the report of “National Hygiene Survey 2018” conducted with support from Unicef Bangladesh and WaterAid.

The report findings revealed that 36% adolescent girls knew about menstruation before their first period while 43% adolescents and 29% adult women use disposable pads during their menstruation.

The National Hygiene Survey 2018 report presents the findings from the data collected across five different components: household, school, health facilities, restaurants and food vendors with objective to allow monitoring of the progress of hygiene related indicators of SDGs, Five Year Plan, Vision 2021 and vision 2041 etc.

Md Yamin Chowdhury, secretary of Statistics and Informatics Division, Ministry of Planning said: “Evidence-based programs and informed policies will effectively address gaps and scale up successes and this hygiene report would be instrumental for effective planning and financing in the major development sector in Bangladesh.”

He thanked all concerned to provide SDG indicator 6.2.1 “Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a handwashing facility with soap and water” from this survey.

Also Read - Unicef: 40% of world’s population lack handwashing facilities at home

The survey has a strong methodology that implies data collection by face-to-face interviews, spot checks for sanitation facilities and hygiene practices and handwashing demonstrations in relevant cases.

At school, 39% boys and girls have access to improved, unlocked, accessible toilets that have soap and water available.

But sanitary pad disposal bins were available in 22% schools having separate improved toilets for menstrual management purposes.

30% girls reported absence from school during their menstruation in last 6 months and on an average, they missed school for 2.5 days.

On the other hand, 36% girls reported to receive menstrual health education at school.

The report also captures quantifiable pictures of sanitation facilities and environmental hygiene in restaurants and health facilities as well as hygiene behaviours of food vendors and caregivers.

It says that 68% cooks reported to wash hands during the business hours in restaurants.

Ensuring hygiene priority

Hasin Jahan, country director of WaterAid Bangladesh said: “The report highlights the challenges faced by Bangladesh and, thus, it means that we need to double our efforts to ensure hygiene becomes a priority especially in light of Covid-19.”

"The NHS 2018 is an important survey that addresses the gaps and shows progress and challenges and directs the need for nation-wide campaign to continue to promote hygiene. Overall, the report is an invaluable resource not just for those working in WASH, but those interested in public health, education and food safety,” he added.

Tushar Mohon Shadhu Khan, additional chief engineer (Planning), Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) was present as the special guest at the event chaired by Mohammad Tajul Islam, director general of BBS.

Md Mashud Alam, director, Demography and Health Wing, BBS presented the key findings of the survey.

The event was attended by distinguished guest from different government, private and development sector.

The speakers at the dissemination event said that the National Hygiene Survey report will be invaluably helpful for those working in WASH, public health, education and food safety. 

They also emphasized on comprehensive initiatives to expedite raising awareness for building good health and hygiene practice.

They also thanked the Demography and Health Wing of BBS for showing exceptional commitment and leadership in conducting this rigorous survey and all involved in technical and financial assistance, including Unicef, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and WaterAid.

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