By Nonduduzo Kunene | 2019-08-23
ELEVEN children have died of diarrhoea this year, according to recent findings by Water Aid and its stakeholders.
This was revealed during a hygiene workshop hosted by WaterAid Eswatini and stakeholders on the Formative research on hygiene behaviour change briefing held at Pigg’s Peak.
WaterAid Eswatini Research Manager Ncamiso Mhlanga said in order to improve the hygiene status of the country, his organisation conducted a workshop this week where issues pertaining to hygiene around keeping and handling food, hygiene on girls when experiencing periods, and hygiene of toilets were looked into. They are also discussing the findings of the ‘Formative Research on Hygiene Behaviour Change’ that was run in eight communities located in two regions of the country.
Mhlanga stated that it was revealed at the workshop that 11 children died because of diarrhoea this year.
He added that the main contribution to these deaths were poor sanitation methods, mainly at home or day care centres where these children stay.
Therefore, it was concluded that health stakeholders will have to provide the right equipment that could be used by individuals to improve their hygiene and proper hand washing method. This is meant to curb the outbreak of diarrhoea which could be avoided by proper hand washing.
“We want to come up with a national hygiene campaign to prevent all diseases caused by poor hygiene,” he said.
To curb the negative impacts of poor hygiene, WaterAid Eswatini contributed in building of proper toilets, capacitated teachers and children on hygiene in schools, homes and clinics.
The officer said the newly built toilets enable children to use the toilets while maintaining a proper hygiene.
He added that residents of these constituencies were also capacitated on cheaper and easier ways of making soap and providing clean water in these areas since clean water plays a huge role in hygiene.
Further, the research states that only 19 per cent of Emaswati wash hands after eating or using the toilets.
According to the 2019 report by WaterAid Eswatini it states that Emaswati, do not follow the right hygienic methods, hence the outbreak of diseases such as diarrhoea and related sicknesses affect a lot of people in the country.
Mhlanga stated that this research is a follow-up to that conducted last year in SADC countries.
WaterAid conducted a hygiene research in 2018 titled ‘Wash Water Supply and Hygiene’.
Mhlanga said the reason for his research was because hygiene was overlooked whenever such researches are conducted. WaterAid in collaboration with SADC government looked into conducting a hygiene research at schools, clinics, homes as well as menstrual girls.
Following the 2018 research, WaterAid Eswatini conducted another research in eight constituencies in the country in the Lubombo and Hhohho regions. The Non-Governmental Organisation conducted the research in schools, homes and clinics located in these regions.
“Through observations, it was discovered that Emaswati do not wash their hands at all and those who do they do not follow the proper method. Only 19 per cent of people wash their hands before eating as well as after using restrooms,” he said.
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