The Hand Washing Campaign in some parts of Kabarole are not bearing fruit. Cases of dysentery are high
There is an outbreak of dysentery in some parts of Kabarole despite the existance of hand-washing campaigns to improve the health of residents in the district.
The campaigns are aimed at sensitizing communities especially children on how to protect themselves against diseases by washing their hands regularly with soap after visiting the toilets and before eating food.
Kabarole district health department and a local NGO Health Through Water and Sanitation (HEWASA), started the campaigns early this year in communities and schools.
However, cases of dysentery have been reported in the sub counties of Kichwamba, Karangura, Katebwa, and Bukuku, where the campaign started in February. Last week, the Kabarole district health department registered 30 cases of dysentery in Karangura, with majority of the patients having severe diarrhorea.
The Tippy taps, which were set up in schools, trading centers and markets as part of the campaign to promote the hand washing campaign, have either been vandalized or stolen.
Tippy Taps are cans or plastic bottles that release a small amount of water to wash hands when tipped on.
On Monday, at Bukuku Primary School in Kichwamba Sub County, twenty pupils were also treated for dysentery at Bukuku health centre III. Last week, HEWASA installed seven tippy taps in the school compound but they have all gone missing.
Moses Agaba, the headmaster says that none of the officials from the health department has gone back to the school to teach the children on how to properly wash their hands.
Agaba says that the tippy taps were installed in April but since then, the officials have never returned.
Asked why the teachers can’t teach the children, Agaba says that the teachers are too busy because they spend most of the time in classes teaching the pupils and can’t spare time to promote the campaign.
In the past two weeks, residents of Ibonde in Kichwamba Sub County have been concerned with the outbreak of dysentery in the area. Simon Rubale, the in-charge of Kichwamba Health Centre II says six people were treated for dysentery.
Geoffrey Rugumayo, a resident of Ibonde parish says that they have never been sensitized about the campaign. He says that the tippy taps were installed in the villages but they do not know how to use them.
//Cue in: “we did not see any body coming…”
Cue out: “…to sensitize our people.”//
However Margaret Baguma, the in-charge of sanitation at HEWASA blames the local leaders for failing the campaign. She says that the leaders were supposed to promote the campaign in the community because they were trained by HEWASA.
She adds that HEWASA has started training change agents who will sensitize the community on hand washing.
The World Health Organization says if hand washing is emphasized, it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. It also says that every year, more than 3.5 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia.
Hand washing can also prevent skin infections, eye infections, intestinal worms, and Avian Flu.
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hand washing campaign
world health organization