by Sampson Nuvaga Ntangtang
Another 15 October has come and passed with BWC Yaounde again joining the global community in celebrating this event. The UN originally designated 2008 as year of sanitation. Their main focus was to celebrate October 15 as a global hand washing day promoted by UNICEF WASH department.
Last year the theme was HELP MORE CHILDREN REACH THEIR 5th BIRTHDAY. BWC under its WASH project championed this idea through its sensitization on the use of Tippy taps in communities where pipe borne water is still a dream.
This year, we celebrated the 6th edition under the theme… THE POWER IS IN YOUR HANDS. We use our hands to eat, to bath, to greet, to write, to embrace, to clean after using the toilet, to defend ourselves, to cook, to wash clothing etc… etc. This gives to our hands extraordinary power, more than other parts of our body. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to properly clean our hands. Hand hygiene has proven to stop the propagation of bacteria and save the lives of many children under 5 years old.
BWC in collaboration with Ministry of Energy and Water Resources sent phone messages to 500 Cameroonians encouraging awareness in the importance of hand hygiene. Also, children at Ecole Publique de Biyem Assi benefited from activities like hand washing songs, drama and tippy taps.
As reminder, here are the five steps for proper hand washing.
1, wet your hands with water
2, rub with soap
3, scrub very well, both hands together
4, rinse with clean water
5, shake in the air to dry.
As years unfold, we come to discover that the routine of hand hygiene may have drifted from awareness and consciousness to negligence. It is important to remember and practice these simple steps and to share this knowledge. There is need for us to teach our children to wash their hands properly, for better health for all tomorrow. After all, like it or not, the power is in your (washed) hands. Clean hands save lives.
Sampson Nuvaga Ntangtang is the Better World Project officer in Yaounde