Bulawayo City Council (BCC) in partnership with Africa Head, Thursday, belatedly commemorated the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) and urged residents to continue washing hands especially at a time when the world is battling with Covid-19.
GHD is commemorated on the 15th of October and this year’s theme was ‘hand hygiene for all’ which highlighted the need to prioritise the washing of hands with and water to beat the global pandemic.
Speaking during the commemorations which were held at Queen Elizabeth Primary school, Nkulumane, ward 22 Councilor Rodney Jele who was representing the Mayor Solomon Mguni said hand washing is an essential act as it helps prevent diseases.
“This is an important day particularly as the world is fighting the Coronavirus which can be prevented by washing our hands, hand washing is the cleaning of one’s hands with soap and water to remove a virus or bacteria,” said Cllr Jele.
Councilor Jele said hand washing with water and soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases.
“As we encourage each other to wash our hands at critical points throughout the day, let us remember to practice the seven steps of washing hands as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hand washing with water and soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases,” he said.
In addition, Councilor Jele extended gratitude to all partners who have made donations to the City.
“To date the City has 21 operational water kiosk and more than 334 functional boreholes that assist in mitigating the impact of drought, all these are means of improving the water situation faced by the City so that we can all get water and be able to wash our hands and be protected from infections and other infectious diseases,” he said.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Africa Ahead, Regis Matimati said hand washing is the most effective way of reducing diarrheal disease.
“Africa Ahead is a member of the emergency strategic advisory group, a national thinktank that looks at emergencies as they emerge and looking out and coining resource strategies, we are also a member of the sanitation and water for all alliances.
“Our task is to help you coordinate the responses, help you identify the challenges and feel the gaps, help you fundraise and in pursuing that, the first intervention that Africa Ahead carried out in the City was a Covid-19 response that brought us to Bulawayo but particularly working around Luveve,” said Matimati.
“Hand washing is the most effective way of reducing diarrheal diseases just by working up washing your hands and throughout the day at strategic moments, you have cut down diseases by over 40 percent, so your hands protect the rest of the body.”
“I also want to say effective disposal of waste is another very significant way as your hands touch everywhere,” he added.
Africa Ahead through SIDA and African Development Fund donated two 85 litre hand washing stations and four 20litres hand washing stations.