Washing hands with soap is an effective way to prevent infections and stay away from communicable diseases such as cholera.
UNICEF, in collaboration with the government, launched a tippy-tap campaign in schools to encourage regular hand washing. How effective has this been? Some children and teachers share their views.
Mr Francis Grant,
Basic School, Cape Coast
In my school, we have educated the children about the significance of washing their hands with soap and water so they know how important it is to cultivate that habit.
The problem is that sometimes, some of them forget to wash their hands after using the washrooms. The school authority has, therefore, provided hand sanitisers in their classrooms so that anytime they enter the class, either from break or the washroom, they can sanitise their hands before they sit down.
The sanitiser containers are refilled so there is always some to use. Parents also give their children sanitisers to use at school.
I realised that when the children started washing their hands, the rate of infections among the Kindergarten and lower primary pupils reduced.
My school provides each class with two basins of water, soap and a towel so I wash my hands anytime before I enter the class .
I sometimes wash my hands about seven times a day at school.
Our teachers also ensure that every student washes his or her hands regularly. The teachers also wash their hands immediately after teaching.
After visiting the rest room, I wash my hands right there with soap and water because it is believed that the soap kills most of the unseen bacteria in our nails.
Mr Isaac Bondzie,
Korle Gonno R/C Boys
In my former school, we used to have Veronica buckets with water and soap for the children to regularly wash their hands.
The buckets were not properly maintained so the washing of hands exercise was not effective.
In my new school, however, there is tap water and the children bring their own soap to school so they wash their hands with soap under running water regularly.
To regulate this, anytime a child asks permission to go to the washroom and returns, the teacher asks if they have washed their hands or not.
If they answer in the affirmative, then they are allowed to take their seats but if not, they go back to wash their hands.
What I realised is that when you teach children to wash their hands with soap under running water, they practise it at home too and also teach their parents and their friends. This habit is very likely to reduce infections drastically.
Mr Dennis Nii
Wesley International School,
Koforidua, Eastern Region.
We have pipe water and soap at the canteen as well as the washrooms where the children wash their hands before they eat and after using the toilet .
This arrangement is for the JHS students. For the lower and the upper primary classes, there are Jeri cans and soap in front of their classrooms so they can wash their hands before going back to their classes.
Washing their hands keep them clean.
The most important thing is that, all these will also intensify when schools re-open because of the COVID-19.
My parents have taught me the importance and effects of handwashing so before I go to school, my parents provide me with liquid soap and tissue.
I use them whenever I visit the restroom and when I am about to eat.
I also wash my hands after playing. Because the teachers and seniors on duty inspect our hands before we enter the classrooms, I make sure I wash my hands with soap and water because I don't want to be the odd one out.
I find so much pleasure in doing that because I want to be free from germs and avoid contracting diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.
I don’t forget to wash my hands because my parents would be crossed with me when they realise I haven't washed my hands .