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Global Handwashing Day 2012

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A young boy washes his hands with enthusiasm This year’s Global Handwashing Day in Afghanistan is dedicated to the eradication of polio and to raising awareness of the role and importance of handwashing and appropriate hygiene practices in the eradication of polioOn 16 October 2012, the Ministries of Public Health, Education, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, along with WHO and UNICEF, schoolchildren, teachers, nongovernmental organizations, communities and the media celebrated the fifth Annual Global Handwashing Day.

This year’s Global Hand-washing Day in Afghanistan is dedicated to the eradication of polio from the country: raising awareness of the role and importance of hand-washing; and how appropriate hygiene practices are crucial for the efforts to declare Afghanistan and the entire world polio free.

“There is a strong and obvious link between hand-washing and polio eradication. By washing hands at critical times, adopting appropriate hygiene practices and ensuring every child receives two drops of oral polio vaccine every time it is offered, we will be able to stop transmission of the polio virus in Afghanistan”, said Dr Ahmad Shadoul, WHO Representative in Afghanistan.

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

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