Kao is implementing the Hygiene Development Program in Vietnam to contribute to establishing clean, hygienic practices in Vietnam. This program consists of four initiatives: Leader Development for Infection Control, the Scholarship for Hygiene Management, the Water and Sanitation Project for Schools, and Enhancing Hygiene in the Community.
The Leader Development for Infection Control program aims to improve infection control and the hygienic environment in hospitals. With advice from infectious disease experts from Japan*1 , Kao is implementing initiatives to improve the infection control and hygienic environment at Hanoi Medical University Hospital, its partner in Vietnam.
In February 2020, following the previous year, representatives from Hanoi Medical University were invited to Japan to learn about infection control in Japan and to exchange opinions with infectious disease experts.
In addition, on November 5, a presentation at Hanoi Medical University Hospital was delivered on the results of an intervention trial conducted in 2019 to improve hand hygiene compliance rate. This intervention trial was designed to raise awareness by monitoring actual hand hygiene compliance among staff members and providing them with training, which also led to awareness raising in the community, including hospital's patients. The hand hygiene compliance rate, an indicator of the intervention trial's success, also improved significantly, and the results are widely shared at this presentation. The presentation was attended by Vietnamese health administration officials, hospital medical staff members, and students; infectious diseases experts from Japan, including Professor Kaku of Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University, participated online. In 2021, we will continue to strengthen these efforts while further advancing infection control initiatives.
Kao aims to help people live healthier lives by fostering food hygiene experts who will play an active role in the fields of health and hygiene in Vietnam. In cooperation with Kanagawa University of Human Services, Kao has set up the Scholarship for Hygiene Management fund at the university and provides scholarships to exchange students. Scholarship recipients spend their days under the guidance of President Nakamura and other professors*2 while living their daily lives with the support of the university's students.
In March 2020, the first scholarship recipient completed the Master's Program of Kanagawa University of Human Services. The master's thesis was a comparative study of food hygiene management in Japan and Vietnam that examined the measurement of bacteria in hospital kitchens. This is a valuable study because as of yet only a few surveys of hospitals have been conducted.
In April 2020, a second exchange student came to Japan and enrolled in the Kanagawa University of Human Services Graduate School.
In collaboration with Hanoi Medical University, Kao started a hand-washing awareness program for elementary school students in 2020. In September and October, a baseline survey was conducted at two elementary schools in Hanoi to confirm the status of hand washing by checking the installation of hand-washing facilities in the schools, observing how children wash their hands, and administering questionnaires to school staff members and children. We developed teaching materials that were readily usable for the local community, and we have been teaching hand washing to children since November. The effectiveness of these activities will be verified in 2021 in preparation for a roll out to other elementary schools in Hanoi. Kao is poised to raise awareness of hygiene among children, who represent the future, by further implementing such activities to heighten awareness.
The Kao Group has developed the Kirei Lifestyle Plan ESG strategy to service the needs and desires of consumers across the globe so that they can live more sustainable lifestyles. Our activities in Vietnam are part of these efforts to contribute to the realization of an enriched lifestyle culture and social sustainability through the establishment of clean, hygienic practices.