The theme of this year’s Global Handwashing Day, October 15th,is “Hand Hygiene for All”. Governments, civil society, grassroots organizations and community representatives will come together to review progress made towards ensuring communities wash hands as a proven disease prevention practice.
This year’s event comes when the impact of COVID-19 is being felt on communities and economies, with greater emphasis being placed on handwashing with soap and sanitizing as one of the most effective measures to check the spread of COVID-19.
Afya Uzazi has been working with the counties and other partners in Nakuru and Baringo counties to promote interventions that encourage handwashing.
The project has supported risk communication in communities to position handwashing for disease prevention. Working together, the partners have installed handwashing stations and intensified water supply interventions, including protection of community water sources and promoting handwashing.
Other activities include training of youth and community opinion leaders to take the lead in encouraging handwashing. Special attention has been paid to providing information and water access for marginalized populations, including people living with disability and the elderly.
The project has supported the county departments of health to engage private sector players that have provided handwashing stations to serve market centers, bus stops, health facilities and vulnerable households.
For rural families with no access to piped water, tippy taps have been prepositioned to ensure frequent handwashing as part of a package of hygiene practices in households.
These efforts have increased the number of handwashing stations to almost 280,000, benefitting over 1.1 million individuals across the 11 sub-counties in Nakuru County.
To mark this year’s event, small gathering will be held to heighten awareness of the importance of handwashing. The focus will be on reaching schools that recently re-opened this week.
In Kuresoi North Sub-County, Afya Uzazi and the county will organize an event Karirikania Primary school to sensitize the children and teachers on physically distanced handwashing at the four critical times.
The area public health officer shall work with community health volunteers to support installation of tippy taps and latrine lid covers in the school. The team will also distribute soap.