The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Mwingi Pupils in Handwashing Drive

More than 900 pupils in Mwingi district on Monday participated in a hand washing drive to mark the Global Hand washing day.

The event which took place in Mwingi town stadium was meant to sensitise the children on how to fight diseases that come from dirt.

"We want to train children on how to wash their hands. Many of them never wash their hands even after visiting the toilets, said Mwingi district public health officer David Munyoki.

He was speaking at the hand washing event.

He said the campaign targeted 5000 children. He said hand washing can prevent 50 percent of diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid and cholera among others as well as 25 percent respiratory infections in children under the age of five years.

"We are not only sensitizing these pupils on hand washing. It will not make any sense if they wash their hands while their bodies are dirty. We are telling them the importance of maintaining general cleanliness. That way, we will ensure proper sanitation," added Munyoki.

Munyoki urged parents and teachers to ensure school children's' health by keeping high standards of sanitation. He said it was important for schools to keep a water jerrican and soap at the entrance of every latrine for easy reach of children.

He also urged those parents without latrines to sink one as soon as possible because it was mandatory. He said a home to home inspection would be conducted soon. He also discouraged bush defecation saying that this helps disease spread faster.

He however added that the hand washing day has taken place in all public and government schools in the larger Mwingi area.

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