40pc people know about handwashing with water and soap: BBS survey
40pc people know about handwashing with water and soap: BBS survey

Forty per cent 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 per cent adolescent girls knew about menstruation before their first period while 43 per cent adolescents and 29 per cent adult women use disposable pads during their menstruation.

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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.

Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, secretary, statistics and informatics division, planning ministry said, ‘evidence-based programmes 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.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) conducted this countrywide stand-alone survey in collaboration with UNICEF and WaterAid Bangladesh.

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 per cent 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 per cent schools having separate improved toilets for menstrual management purposes.

30 per cent girls reported abstinence 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 per cent 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 per cent cooks reported to wash hands during the business hours in restaurants.

Hasin Jahan, country director, 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.

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"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.”

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, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

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.