Hand Wash Saves Lives

Hygiene continues to be a pressing problem in Bambui, deriving from two main factors: complete lack of sanitation infrastructure and cultural habits.

Within the village, 99% of the schools have no sanitation, or if they have is very rudimentary.
This has a great impact on daily lives, especially on children who are more liable to suffer from recurrent diseases such as vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains on a daily basis (about of 40% of students are reported to suffer from these problems) and are forced to interrupt their lessons to go to the bush.

Objective

Alongside a project of sanitation improvement, the scope of this scheme is to train health promoters to address the issue of hygiene standards at 19 schools (15 primaries, 2 secondary and 2 technical) and within the local community in general.

By forming a team of active health promoters we aim at producing promotional hygiene packs containing initiatives such as awareness workshops or plays for children, teacher’s training in this topic and the development of posters and other visible signage addressing good practices.
At the end of each session, particularly in schools, children will be awarded a Hygiene Passport confirming they have attended the workshop.

Phase 1 Details

Head of Programme: Mariana Matoso
Project Team Leader: Teresa de Sousa
Project Assistant: Nweguh Eric
Sector Coordinator: Edwin (PR of the Cameroonian Youth) and GS Macha Head Teacher Njuakom Francis
Applicant: BVC (Education Committee)
Local Partners: Tubah Council & Bambui Water Authority; Primary & Nursery Inspector, Mr Mbufong Walson
Other Partners: Engineers Without Borders UK
Estimated Cost: £500
Community Funds: £50
Other Funds: Reignite & Canning Trust
Progress: Completed
Timeline: 1 Year

Big or Small – Wash for all!

An awareness campaign on hygiene practices by hand wash promotion in schools.
(Phase 2)

The need

  • UNICEF estimates that diarrhoea kills 1.1 million children every year, and pneumonia-related illnesses take another 1.2 million child lives. Handwashing with soap prevents disease in a more straightforward and cost-effective way than any single vaccine.
  • The simple act of washing hands with soap at critical moments (such as after using the toilet or before handling food) is an easy and affordable intervention that can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea among children under five by almost 50%, and cut respiratory infections by as much as 25%.
  • According to Center for Global Development (2013), handwashing with soap is more effective (48%) on average in averting diarrheal deaths than improving water quality (17%) though potentially less effective than building toilets (69%).
  • In Cameroon, according to the most up to date statistics produced by UNSD/JMP, in 2011 only 36% of the rural Cameroonian population was using an improved sanitation facility and 12% was still recurring to open defecation. Furthermore, only 56% of the rural population had access to an improved source of water.

 

The 3 Star approach has proven successful in other countries. Examples of reductions in school absenteeism in studies and projects around the world include:
54% Reduction by expanding hand-washing promotion and providing soap in target schools in China.

  • 40% Reduction by twice-daily hand washing in 30 primary schools in Egypt
  • 35% Reduction in absenteeism through hand-washing and safe water interventions in Kenya
  • 27% Reduction by daily hand washing, deworming and oral hygiene in the Philippines
  • 20% Reduction in children reporting proper hand-washing practices in Colombia

 

The project

The project is intended to be delivered as a package:

  • providing teacher training on hygiene promotion;
  • delivering workshops to the student community on hygiene issues;
  • organise events celebrating key dates in the hand washing calendar and that involve student’s family and the general community;
  • provide tools that will enable behaviour change, e.g. construction of hand washing facilities and provision of soap.

 

Objectives

  • improve the effectiveness of hygiene behaviour change programmes;
  • help schools meet the essential criteria for a healthy and productive learning environment for children as part of the broader child-friendly schools initiative through simple, inexpensive steps;
  • improve hygiene practices among school children, their families and communities, which will help to prevent water and sanitation-related diseases in the long-term;
  • increase school regular attendance as children will be able to enter school healthy, alert and ready to learn;
  • improve physical and mental health;
  • draw attention to the current state of the MDG Sanitation target in the north-western region of Cameroon whilst mobilizing political will towards increasing financial and technical resources.

Phase 2 Details

Head of Programme: Mariana Matoso
Project Team Leader: Teresa de Sousa
Project Assistant: Martin Findlay, Afunwi Denis & Yong Maximillian
Sector Coordinator: Eric Ngweh
Applicant: Reignite Action for Development
Local Partners: Bambui Water Authority, Primary & Nursery Inspector, Mr Mbufong Walson
Other Partners: Engineers Without Borders UK
Estimated Cost: £6,200
Community Funds: £62
Other Funds: Reignite & Canning Trust
Progress: Completed
Timeline: 1 Year

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