Hand Washing in Kenya

Posted on January 20, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Hand Washing Print E-mail
Written by Wangari
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Kenyans have been urged to embrace the culture of washing their hands with soap if they are to prevent hand-transmitted diseases.

According to data from UNICEF, the hand washing culture in Kenya is at about 10 per cent which means that about 9 in every 10 Kenyan do not wash their hands.

Speaking at an awareness campaign at Jonathan Gloag Academy, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a renowned musician and the Lifebuoy’s African ambassador for hand washing and hygiene, said that it was high time people knew the importance of washing their hands.

“Before you take anything to eat, it is important to wash your hands,” said Chaka Chaka as she demonstrated the proper way of washing hands.

She said that children are the agents of change, hence it was the duty of parents and teachers to ingrain the culture of hand washing early so as to curb diseases like diarrhoea and other hand-transmitted infections which cause death.

“Mimi ni mtoto (I am a child) who just wants to live,” melodiously sang the princess of Africa of the Nkomboti hit fame amidst cheers from the pupils.

Susan Njaga, a Uniliver representative said that their lifebuoy brand had a social mission of changing the hand washing habits of one billion people in Africa by 2015 and asked the children to adapt the habit.

“I am happy to bring the habit of hand washing closer to children,” said Njaga.

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhoea and respiratory infections are responsible for two out of every three deaths in children.

Figures indicate that hand washing can reduce diarrhea incidences by up to 45 per cent and acute respiratory infections by 30 per cent.

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