International Handwashing Day (October 15th), is a worldwide advocacy day put aside to create consciousness on the significance of handwashing with cleaning soap. It brings consideration to one of the crucial primary points that to our disgrace nonetheless accounts for 2 million youngster deaths a 12 months. Each day about 2,000 youngsters die earlier than reaching their fifth birthday as a consequence of diarrheal illnesses, the overwhelming majority brought on by poor sanitation and hygiene. Diarrhea alone accounts for the dying of round 124,000 younger youngsters in Nigeria.
We all know that handwashing with cleaning soap is the best and cheap option to stop diarrheal illnesses; lowering incidence by as much as 47% and mixed with improved sanitation, that is boosted to 68%. We all know that in nations with the very best youngster mortality charges, as few as 1% of individuals wash their fingers successfully and that the worldwide common is simply 19%. Most frustratingly, efficient instruments and participatory strategies are available and it’s estimated that interventions that promote handwashing may save near 1,000,000 lives. So why is hygiene promotion not a spotlight of most improvement tasks?
Nonetheless, how do you make certain simply sooner or later of symbolic motion, media consideration and advocacy, however their significance, interprets into sustainable conduct change? For this reason International Handwashing Day (GHD) on October 15th is not only ‘another global day’ for United Function.
Annually, we embark on a month-long media and activity-based marketing campaign to advocate for and lift consciousness on handwashing with cleaning soap. The relative lack of consideration in each improvement and media circles on handwashing with cleaning soap is why we’d like days resembling GHD, as they remind us how easy and low-cost the answer to severe hygiene-related illnesses might be.
United Function introduced collectively well-known musicians, communities and the non-public sector to empower 1000’s of faculty youngsters as hygiene promoters all through the month of October. On this manner, we use the month of October to make handwashing a mantra and be certain that the message resounds within the minds of the individuals, far past October 15th. In spite of everything, with extra frequent publicity to a sure message, the adoption of sure well being behaviors turns into extra possible.
Handwashing is simply efficient if carried out with the usage of cleaning soap. For this reason United Function companions with a cleaning soap making firm, PZ Cussons, thereby offering the entire recipe for efficient handwashing.
This 12 months, over 3000 faculty youngsters from over 200 colleges have been engaged by way of actions focused at colleges throughout 10 Native Authorities Areas (LGA) in Benue and Cross River states and the Federal Capital of Nigeria. The occasions in Cross River and Benue states have been held in LGAs already dedicated to bettering their sanitation practices below the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) funded by the International Sanitation Fund of Water Provide and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) executed by United Function.
On the occasions, the theme of the 2019 International Handwashing Day, ‘Clear Palms for All’ was highlighted which reminds us that everybody, all over the place wants entry to cleaning soap & water to clean their fingers. We thus wish to guarantee nobody is left behind. Youngsters have been engaged in enjoyable handwashing themed actions. This included quizzes and debates on handwashing, singing and dancing competitions to Sunny Neji’s marketing campaign anthem ‘Wash Your Palms O’, and video games such because the glitter ball experiment, the place youngsters expertise immediately how utilizing cleaning soap is critical to take away ‘sticky’ germs (the glitter) and the important occasions when one mustn’t neglect to clean fingers. Over 2000 children grew to become Hygiene Heroes who have been outfitted to take the handwashing message again to their varied colleges and communities.
Within the run-up to October 15th, probably the most enthusiastic youngsters and their lecturers took the lead in organizing a mass handwashing exercise on the 15th. They constructed group handwashing stations, gave talks on the significance of handwashing and taught their friends the steps to efficient handwashing.
On prime of this, as a result of we all know children be taught rapidly from their friends, chosen Hygiene Heroes have been empowered to take the handwashing message to neighboring colleges that have been unable to take part within the GHD celebration at their varied LGAs. Utilizing a peer-to-peer studying strategy, the Hygiene Heroes impressed different schoolchildren and demonstrated learn how to assemble group handwashing stations utilizing domestically out there supplies.
To amplify the impact of this 12 months’s advocacy marketing campaign on handwashing, a breakfast assembly was held with the primary women of Cross River and Benue states the place they made a dedication to making sure cleans fingers for all of their respective states. The primary celebration occasion on October 15th was taken to the Federal Capital (Abuja) the place United Function and PZ Cussons collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Water Assets’ Nationwide Process Group on Sanitation (NTGS) to make sure that key authorities officers have been in attendance.
Via media, thousands and thousands of different individuals in Nigeria and globally are being reached by way of jingles aired on radio, TV interviews, use of explainer video on handwashing and the #WashYourHandsO social media marketing campaign.
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