The Vietnam Handwashing Initiative (HWI) was initially targeted at mothers of children under age five in 40 districts throughout the country; it progressively expanded to encompass a total of 540 districts in 10 provinces, reaching more than 1.7 million mothers. HWI’s primary aim was to reduce disease and mortality among children. To achieve this, it used various communication channels to pursue four key objectives related to handwashing with soap: to enhance overall awareness through local and national television campaigns; to improve caregiver understanding and skills through community-based direct communications activities; to enhance community awareness through social marketing activities; and to strengthen official support for individual hygiene at the local and national levels. Information was disseminated through mass media at the national and provincial levels, and through direct customer contact (DCC) and interpersonal communication (IPC) activities across the 540 districts. The initiative also offered specific programs aimed at school-aged children and caregivers of children under five.
For more information see:
Vietnam: A Handwashing Behavior Change Journey for the Caretakers’ Program
Vietnam National Handwashing Initiative - Consumer Research Baseline Survey - Final Report
A multistage research project on Handwashing with Soap was conducted by Indochina Research Limited in Vietnam. The project focused primarily on behaviours of mothers with children under 5 years old, living in rural areas and with a low income level.
Vietnam Schools - Formative Hygiene Research
The study was designed to provide the insights needed to design an effective school-based communication program to promote handwashing with soap at critical moments among children age 6-10 at critical junctures (i.e., after going to the bathroom and before eating).
IPC was one of HWI’s key channels for disseminating the handwashing message to mothers and primary caregivers of children under five. Frontline workers were crucial here, both in providing information and in persuading the target audience to adopt behavior change.
This manual gives frontline workers (1) basic knowledge about the benefits of good hygiene for children’s health and development, focusing on the benefits of handwashing with soap; (2) skills to conduct IPC activities within the community; and (3) instructions for organizing IPC activities—such as group meetings with mothers and caregivers of children under 5 and with preschool teachers—to promote and create the handwashing with soap habit at critical junctures.
Teacher's Manual (in Vietnamese)
In addition to offering key information on handwashing with soap, this guide shows teachers and Youth Union leaders how to implement entertaining and educational handwashing with soap activities, as well as games that have been adapted from folk games for children. These edu-entertainment activities have been used for both extra curricular and school-wide events.
Handwashing with Soap Integration Kits for Health Managers
This kit contains key handwashing with soap information and provides general guidelines on how to integrate communications about it into other relevant programs. The kit’s objective is to provide suggestions to help management staff at various levels of the health sector integrate handwashing with soap communications into their sanitation, hygiene, and community health programs.
Handwashing with Soap Integration Kits for Health Workers
This kit offers key handwashing with soap information for health workers and guides them in integrating these messages into existing health programs; it also offers handwashing with soap messages targeted at particular programs, such as nutrition, water and sanitation and hygiene, and food safety.
Handwashing with Soap Integration Kits for Vietnam Women's Union Managers (in Vietnamese)
This kit aims to inform Vietnam Women’s Union’s central, provincial, and district managers and decision makers on why its important to promote handwashing with soap and integrate that messaging into other relevant WU programs. The kit also provides information on planning, monitoring, and evaluating integration work as well as key handwashing with soap messages targeted at other relevant WU programs/activities, such as good mothers and nutrition programs.
Handwashing with Soap Integration Kits for Vietnam Women's Union Motivators (in Vietnamese)
This kit provide practical guidance for Women’s Union motivators to promote handwashing with soap in communities and strengthened its message in relevant grassroots programs. The kit also offers suggestions for planning and monitoring ways to integrate key messages into existing WU programs.
Direct Consumer Contact
Folk Games and Cartoons (in Vietnamese)
Folk games are very familiar to Vietnamese children, particularly those in primary school. This manual includes handwashing with soap games adapted from common folk games; it also includes a series of 10 cartoons featuring Bi–a country boy who has super powers to help people because he washes his hands with soap.
Poster: Promoting Handwashing (in Vietnamese)
This poster shows a rural mother with her children and reminds all mothers to please wash their hands with soap to support children's health and development.
Poster: Four Critical Junctures (in Vietnamese)
This poster shows the four critical junctures for handwashing with soap: before preparing food, before feeding a child, after going to the toilet, and after cleaning a baby’s bottom. It also introduces six steps for effective handwashing with soap.
Sticker: Logo (in Vietnamese)
This sticker shows the campaign logo, with a message that reminds caregivers to wash hands with soap to support children's health and development.
Sticker: Reminder for Children (in Vietnamese)
These stickers are aimed at students and remind them to wash their hands.
Poster for Primary School Program
This poster shows Bi and his sister Ha. Bi is a country boy whose frequent handwashing with soap gives him magical powers to help his friends and community. The message reminds children that washing their hands with soap before eating and after going to the toilet will bring magic power and strength for themselves and their community.