Clean the World Foundation Finds Increased School Attendance and Positive Behavior Change With Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program in Uganda
Program serves nearly 20,000 people with clean water and proper hygiene education
ORLANDO, Fla., August 28, 2019 (Newswire.com) - Today, Clean the World Foundation, a leader in global health dedicated to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and global sustainability, announces positive results including increased school attendance and overall awareness of the importance of hygiene from students participating in its 12-month WASH education project in Merikit, Uganda.
Clean the World Foundation’s WASH program in Uganda launched in May of this year in partnership with Rotary Club of Kampala and the Tororo District local government. Initial research found the absence of clean water and poor basic sanitation practices led to a deterioration in community health and subsequent absenteeism from local schools in Merikit.
"Clean water and hygiene education are critical to overall wellness, especially for young children," says Sam Stephens, executive director of Clean the World Foundation. "Without the basic education of proper handwashing or access to clean water, these children are vulnerable to life-threatening diseases and negative long-term effects on their development."
Many people in the community fetch water from swamps that are shared with animals, rendering it unsafe for human consumption. According to the Rotary Club of Kampala, within the last six months of 2017, there were hundreds of cases of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases due to dirty water.
To address hygiene concerns, Clean the World Foundation designed a WASH Education training program to raise awareness of the importance of proper handwashing techniques. The training, given to educators and clinicians at six pilot schools and one health care facility, provided tools such as skits, self-assessments, group presentations and discussions, demonstrations, role-play, games, and songs that the facilitators could utilize to teach and advocate for healthy children and communities. Once training commenced, these community leaders worked quickly to implement WASH education programs at their institutions, benefiting 3,700 students and over 15,000 residents. Clean the World Foundation continues to monitor progress with quarterly updates and ongoing evaluations on behavior change.
Initial results from the first quarterly report show an overall improvement in sanitation and hygiene:
- All six schools and the health care center now have a constant supply of water, contributing to a decline in student tardiness (students no longer have to spend long hours fetching water for their homes before school each day).
- Portable handwashing stations distributed to schools by Clean the World Foundation are strategically located at key points and used by most of the students in schools.
- All students at participating schools demonstrated an increased understanding and awareness of water-borne diseases.
- Records showed an increase in student attendance due to a decrease in the spread of hygiene-related illnesses.
- Improvements in hygiene and sanitation were recorded at the health care facility.
“These results demonstrate how effective a comprehensive and locally customized WASH education program can be,” says Stephens. “We're excited to continue to work with community leaders to enhance the programming and look forward to seeing these results drive even greater positive developments in the coming months.”
For program updates, please visit cleantheworldfoundation.org.
Source: Clean the World Foundation
Categories: Non Profit