Dr Julie Lincoln – Hand-washing Education

Washing Hands!

How pleasing to report that after followup, the school handwashing station is being used well and appropriately. Both children and teachers are using the station. Children are able to demonstrate proper handwashing techniques and know when handwashing is needed. Many have also shared that information with their parents and other siblings.

More Wash Stations

Another handwashing station is now being constructed at Khalte Masina school with over 100 students in another poor area of town. I visited this school in October and November, teaching children about hygiene and handwashing and showing them how the wall painting can help them remember when to wash their hands if they forget.

We have been approached by other schools asking for teaching on hygiene/sanitation and assessment for the construction of handwashing stations.

Kaskikot Village Experience

Hand-washing Station

In November, we conducted a programme on personal hygiene and hand-washing for children from 3 schools in Kaskikot village. The ages of the children ranged from 5 to 15 years. Both government and private schools participated.

Within the grounds of the local health post and community building we set up several stations which children went through in groups of 10-15. Each station had at least one of our staff and one community member. In the beginning our staff did most of the teaching and explaining; as the day went on however, the community member slowly took over and by the end of the day most teaching and explaining was being done by the community member, supported by our staff when needed. We hope that by doing it this way the community members involved will remember well and be able to remind and teach children and others in the community about personal hygiene as needed.

How to Wash your Hands

What we Taught

At the various stations we taught the following issues for living with practical experience:

  • nail clipping and hair brushing. Children’s nails were checked and clipped if needed and they learnt why and how to cut nails and brush hair.
  • brushing teeth
  • washing hands
  • bathing and how to do this in areas where water is scarce (like this village)
  • watching a video about health and hygiene

Take-aways to Change the Community

Take-aways

The last station offered each one a small hygiene pack and checked the children knew how to use each item. Finally, groups from each school were gathered in a circle to share what they had learnt through the programme, how they were going to put it into practice and what they were going to share with their parents and siblings about what they had learned.

 

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