|Specific action plans include building 800 standard toilets in 80 schools at a cost of VND16 billion ($762,000), which would help approximately 800,000 elementary school pupils can have germ free and safe toilets to use.— File Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Health Environment Management Agency under the Ministry of Health on Saturday signed a five-year (2014-2018) strategic cooperation framework with Unilever Viet Nam's Vim brand to improve sanitation conditions for 10 million Vietnamese people, especially in rural areas.
At a total cost of VND60 billion (US$2.86 million), the initiative aims to improve sanitation awareness and give millions access to clean toilets.
Nguyen Huy Nga, head of Health Environment Management Agency, said the programme has three points of focus: coordinating with the HCM City Pasteur Institute for disease prevention activities; cooperating with Unilever to improve sanitation in rural areas; and working with the Ministry of Education for and Training for improved sanitation in schools.
Specific action plans include building 800 standard toilets in 80 schools at a cost of VND16 billion ($762,000), which would help approximately 800,000 elementary school pupils can have germ free and safe toilets to use.
Besides, VND10 billion ($476,190) will be spent on special talks on individual and environment hygiene given at 1,000 elementary schools nationwide, helping raise awareness among pupils and their parents about necessity of maintaining proper hygiene at school and home.
Major agencies that will participate in the programme include Unicef, American Standard Co, several other NGOs and the Department of Preventive Health.
The programme, which falls under Unilever's global Sustainable Living Plan, will also be part of efforts to meet the national goals of clean water supply and improved sanitation.
According to Unicef, in Viet Nam, over 45 per cent of rural families either defecate in the open or use unhygienic toilets. Poor sanitation is responsible for frequent incidences of diarrhoea and pneumonia which causes death of many children under five.
Poor sanitation is also a major cause of stunted growth among children in Viet Nam, the agency says. — VNS