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Learning institutions mark handwashing week

80 per cent of diarrhea disease commonly witnessed in children could be prevented by cleaning hands.

This was said by Dr Joel Njuguna, of Equity Afia-Kerugoya during celebrations to mark Global hand washing day is a campaign which seeks to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap.

Marked on October 15 of each year, the campaign is geared towards raising awareness of hand washing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.

In Kirinyaga County, the event was observed at Effort Junior School in Kirinyaga Central Sub-county, where over 250 pupils from local primary schools joined the staff from Equity Afia which had handwashing and hygiene promotion messages.

A handwashing demonstration was conducted by Equity Afia in conjunction with the teaching staff.

Dr Njuguna said their main agenda in commemorating handwashing week was to teach pupils the need for cleaning hands because they come in contact with different objects while playing.

“Today we are here specifically to teach young pupils the procedure and importance of handwashing so that they can learn to live with the practice. They are playing in games and come in contact with different objects, hence the need for regular cleaning,” Njuguna said.

“Children mostly suffer from diarrhea disease of which 80 per cent of them can be prevented by cleaning hands. Healthy pupils will ensure maximum utilization of time in class leading to improvement in academics,” he added.

The health officer also noted during the emergence of the COVID-19 virus; handwashing was the first line of defense against the spread of infectious diseases but no longer being considered.

“We are also encouraging the parents to ensure the same is replicated in their various homes, it seems after Covid-19 they forget to clean their hands regularly,” he noted.

Ebeth Bedan, head teacher Effort Schools, said they have partnered with Equity Afia to offer understanding to the pupils on the need for hygiene. She noted the pupils are in a formative stage and what they acquire now could carry up to the adult stage.

“We have a team of staff from Equity Afia to help us in teaching our pupils about hygiene. It is like a science lesson to us especially with the new curriculum which is skills based. Once our children learn they will share with everybody outside the school,” Bedan said.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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