The 2018 edition of the Global Hand Washing day was commemorated by 6 schools in NEMA in collaboration with UCSOND. The celebration was marked by route march through the principal streets of Axim with the school children who were in jubilant moods. The children marched and demonstrated the importance of hand washing to the teaming crowd who came out to catch a glimpse of what the kids were doing.
After the route march, the SHEP Coordinator for the schools, Mr. Portuphy advised the kids to religiously observe hand washing as a daily routine and make it a habit of influencing their peers and even parents to wash hands every day. In his speech, Mr. Portuphy stressed the importance of the 2018 theme and encouraged all and sundry to take positive lessons from the theme. He said the theme was carefully chosen to reflect the need to wash hands when meal is ready. He maintained that handwashing at critical times of the day prevents the occurrence and prevalence of diseases and infections.
Mr. Richard Quayson, the Sanitation and Hygiene officer of UCSOND then took the crowd through the various steps in Handwashing. He continued by entreating the SHEP Department to make items for clean, regular handwashing available in all schools to entice school children to wash hands at all times. He then went on to charge the various school SHEP coordinators to continually engage the kids in sanitation and hygiene activities to incentivize the kids to practice hygiene.
The Sanitation and Hygiene Officer then pleaded with the heads of the schools to also support with the provision of kits for handwashing as this would go a long way to save lives. He reiterated that regular handwashing with soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent disease and infections if the right kits are used. He assured the SHEP Department and Heads of Schools gathered of UCSOND’s commitment to the course of sanitation and hygiene within the municipality.
The Global Handwashing Day is a campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. Washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important. The day is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of washing hands with soap as an effective way to prevent diseases. Global Handwashing Day occurs on 15 October of each year.
The 2018 edition was themed: “Clean hands – a recipe for health” which seeks to focus on the links between handwashing and food thus, including food hygiene and nutrition. This means that handwashing must be observed before eating, cooking and feeding others especially infant.