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PAHO's Director Acknowledged Authorities and Schools in Peru for Their Contribution in Establishing a Guinnes Record on Hand Washing

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2012.03-per-roses-ghdThe Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Mirta Roses recognized Peru for its contribution to the Guinness record on hand washing, as the country that most contributed to achieving the Guinness record for the Americas region, with 604,246 students washing their hands at the same time in multiple locations.

Before handling the respective certificates to the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health -both present at the ceremony- Dr. Mirta Roses and Dr. Fernando Leanes, Representative of PAHO / WHO in Peru, gave a demonstration of hand washing, aided by delegation of schools from different Ugeles of Lima, who joined the ceremony . The students watched carefully that the authorities carried out properly the hand washing technique.

It should be noted that this event was attended by the student, Jesus Purizaca Garcia, introduced as a model student in hand washing, after remembering the President of the Republic, to conduct this important practice before having breakfast at the school during his visit at the school Manchay in early 2012. In turn, the Minister of Education, Patricia Salas said that it is gratifying that this prize was given at the start of the school year, while recognizing how well Peruvian school children were organized, and worked to earn this award.

For his part, Minister of Health, Dr. Alberto Tejada emphasized how a practice as simple as hand washing is an effective measure for health care, and the importance to promote this habit in all Peruvian households.

Meanwhile, the Director of PAHO, Dr. Roses indicated that washing hands helps to promote health and is one of the most cost-effectiveness estrategies available for preventing many infectious diseases. "I congratulate Peru on this achievement, for promoting the habit of hand washing with soap and water in the educational communities as a way to improve the quality of life and contribute to the prevention and spread of diseases among the population," and she finally stated that October 14 of 2011 - the date when the Guiness Record was established- marked not only the celebration of Global Handwashing Day, but also nears the 20th anniversary of the introduction of cholera in Peru, whose effective response and action provided lessons then that are now applied to combat this disease in countries like Haiti.

Source: PAHO / WHO Peru