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BASF supports hand hygiene amongst garment workers in Bangladesh
Global chemical company BASF is supporting an innovative programme to enhance hand washing hygiene amongst Bangladesh's ready-made garment workers.
The approximately €250,000 (around BDT 23 million) project, implemented by Voluntary Organisation for Social Development, will explore the existing health behaviour of the workers with a view to improving hygiene and reducing associated diseases.
To kick off the programme, yesterday, BASF hosted a forum with representatives from various sectors of the garment industry, including factory management, exporters' representatives, garment workers, soap manufacturers, and health & hygiene specialists.
In the first phase, VOSD will conduct a six- to eight-week baseline study to understand the barriers and context of hygiene behaviour amongst the workers. Ultimately, the programme is designed to target improved behavioru through promotional events and a supply of adequate liquid hand soap at the factory level.
With exports of $25.5 billion in 2014-2015, Bangladesh has become the second largest apparel manufacturer in the world, after China. The industry contributes around 10% of the national economy. More than four million people, around 85% women, are employed in the industry, impacting 16 million people and contributing a 9% reduction to the local poverty level.
However, World Health Organisation reports show that RMG workers in Bangladesh suffer significantly from diarrhea, dysentery, skin disease, lung disease and other health conditions, many of which are contagious and spread through hands from one to another.
Proper handwashing can reduce the contamination of these diseases to a great extent. According to UNICEF, handwashing with soap at critical times - including before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet - can reduce diarrhea rates by more than 40%. Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections by around 23%.
27th July 2017