Hand washing Day in Kassala communities

November 19th, 2016

On 15th October each year, Global Hand Washing Day is celebrated to motivate and mobilise people around the world to improve their hygiene habits by washing their hands with soap at critical times throughout each day. Washing your hands with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. In addition to using soap, proper sanitation awareness and drinking clean water are key to preventing disease.

Handwashing day KassalaThe aims of Global Hand Washing Day are to: promote and support a general culture of hand washing with soap in all societies and raise awareness of the benefits of the simple practice of washing your hands with soap.

There are many health problems in Kassala state due to the recurring floods. Sewage has contaminated drinking water and hence a large proportion of the state’s population has suffered from illnesses such as cholera and diarrhea. Many people, the majority being children, have died from these diseases.

The most important solution to these problems is personal hygiene – a solution that has been marked as one of the outputs for the Water 4 East Project.

Practical Action and the Sudanese Red Crescent  organised the celebrations for this year’s Global Hand Washing Day, with the slogan of ‘make hand-washing a habit’ being championed.  The celebrations took place in a village that had been affected by the floods, with over 50 houses damaged. However, the village is now benefitting from the Water 4 East Project.

Handwashing day KassalaDuring Global Hand Washing Day, students and communities are taught the importance of washing their hands with soap and water at critical times. With support from the Ministry of Health, people now know and understand the proper way to wash their hands using both soap and water. Validating the awareness day, Ohaj Ahmed explained “we have washed our hands for many years but for the first time, we will follow these steps” and student Hassan Ibrahim told us “we used to not wash our hands with soap for months and did not know the importance of it, but this celebration is clarifying that.”

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