Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
RURAL communities have been urged to maintain hygiene through regular washing of hands especially during the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
Gwanda villagers on Thursday gathered at Sengezane Village in Ward 14 to commemorate the Global Handwashing Day which was organised by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. The commemoration was held under the theme “Hand Hygiene for All”. The day is commemorated each year on October 15.
Speaking at the event, Sengezane Environmental Health Technician Mr Reason Moyo urged community members to make washing of hands a habit.
“This year’s Handwashing Day comes at a time when we are going through the Covid-19 pandemic. This time requires regular washing and sanitising of hands in order to curb the spread of the pandemic. It’s important to use the available resources such as soap to wash your hands.
“We have to wash our hands regularly whether we are at our homes, shops, gatherings and any other public gatherings. Washing of hands also reduces chances of contracting diseases such as diarrhoea, flu and many others. It’s important that we make it a habit to wash our hands regularly,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Gwanda District Development Coordinator Ms Kiliboni Ndou, Gwanda Administrator Mr Thulani Moyo said this year’s theme emphasised the need for communities to scale up handwashing.
“The Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to promote handwashing with soap as an easy, effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. This year’s theme ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ follows the recent global initiative calling on all of society to scale up hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap.
“The theme is inspired by the need to reduce and prevent the spread of Covid-19. We must work towards universal access to safe handwashing facilities and practice of handwashing with soap for a healthy future. Mostly in rural areas two out of five people don’t have basic hand washing facilities with soap and water,” he said.
Water, sanitation and hygiene, he added, were not only a right but also key drivers of the country’s economic growth.
Hand in Hand Zimbabwe area manager for Gwanda District Ms Unami Dube said they were running a number of programmes to promote hygiene within communities. She said these include empowering communities on how to produce dish washing liquid, assisting communities with construction of water, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure such as toilets.
The Global Handwashing Day was set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008 when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. — @DubeMatutu