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Hygiene improvement initiative set in motion

AS part of efforts to support the government's strategies to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, Water Aid Tanzania yesterday launched a new campaign that aims at improving hygiene behaviours among citizens.

Titled ‘Usichukulie poa unategemewa’, the campaign funded by the DFID, UKAID and Unilever,  will focus on Zanzibar and three mainland regions - Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Geita.

Speaking at the event, the WaterAid interim country director Ms Anna Mzinga, said the campaign also aims at helping the country prepare for any future disease outbreak by having a strong health system.

“It will be focusing on improving certain key behaviours among citizens that if practiced effectively, can help everyone to keep themselves, their family and friends safe,” she said.

According to her, the campaign will also involve the construction of several mass hand washing facilities at busy and crowded public areas in the four target regions.

She said: “The facilities will showcase an innovative contactless design, for people to access soap and water from the tap. This is to ensure bacteria from the hands do not contaminate the facilities,” adding:

“Despite the numbers of coronavirus patients being low in the country, the disease is still a threat to the nation and among neighbouring countries, as many countries are now experiencing their ‘second wave’ and easing restrictions which present risks of re-infections,” she added.

Research shows that hand washing with clean water and soap for 20 seconds is linked to: a 16-23 per cent reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection, 50 per cent reduction in pneumonia, and up to a 48 per cent reduction risk of endemic diarrhoea.

The launch of the campaign was graced by the Acting Mayor of Dar es Salaam Mr Abdallah Mtinika, who reiterated the  commitment of his office to closely cooperate with the stakeholders in improving health settings in the city, especially during this period of Covid-19 fears.

"It is important for people to continue taking precautions and practice the simple but effective hygiene behaviours that will help protect them from contracting infectious diseases, including corona virus and others," said Mr Mtinika.

WaterAid Tanzania has also been working closely with the government to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

This has involved joining hands with the National Sanitation Campaign popularly known as ‘Nyumba Ni Choo’.

The campaign used radio, television, social media and loudspeakers as a way to reach communities with hygiene messages.

The campaign was launched with support from several high-profile celebrities, poet Mrisho Mpoto and footballer Juma Kaseja, all of whom have joined forces with the stakeholders to champion and promote sustained hygiene behaviour change in the country.

 

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

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