As part of activities marking the 2018 Global Hand Washing Day, the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has organized a quiz competition in schools across the 23 local government areas of Benue State as well as in the eight internally displaced persons camps in the state to test their knowledge on hands washing and hygiene.
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist (WASH) Enugu, Timi Diakubu in an address lamented that 53 percent of Benue state households do not have a specific place to wash their hands which he said posed a threat of disease outbreak.
Diakubu who disclosed that the quiz competition was organized by UNICEF in collaboration with Universal Basic Education Board to inculcate the culture of proper hands washing in children who are the right people to take the desired message back home and to their peers.
The theme of this year’s GHD which if funded by DFID was tag, ‘Clean Hands, a Recipe for Health ‘which according to the representative of UNICEF, was to further raise the awareness about the benefits of hand washing in food hygiene which is a sure way of healthy living.
“Every child should know that before and after eating as well as defecating, they have to wash their hands properly”
“We want to use institutions like schools to institute the practice of proper hands washing in children to save the Benue child from preventable diseases”
“this would enable pupils to be better educated to know the importance of hand washing before and after meals and even when they visits the Toilet, we are targeting children to internalize the culture of hand washing because they are the most effective agents of change.”
Meanwhile, pupils drawn from ten primary schools in Guma local government area of the state demonstrated their intellectual understanding of the importance of hand washing in a quiz competition
The participating school included, LGEA Primary School Mbabiem, LGEA Antso, Trinity Nursery and Primary School Gbajimba, Unity Nursery and primary School, Cones Stone Nursery and Primary School, God Bless Nursery and primary school LGEA Central Primary School Gbajimba, Inundu Nursery and Primary school, NKST Primary School and st Athanaisus primary school.
Declaring the event open, the chairman of Guma local government, Anthony Shawon commended UNICEF for the laudable effort of ensuring healthy living through regular hand washing even as he encouraged the pupils to keep faith with handing washing to prevent diseases and ailments associated with bad hygiene.
On her part, Hygiene officer, Susan Ihomon maintained that although, the children had already inculcated the habit of regular hand washing, this year’s event was taken a notch ahead to test their intellect about sanitation.
“The pupils have been practicing the wash day before now but this year’s event is a little bit different because they are going to be tested intellectually and practical based on hand washing.
“This we are doing to help eradicate the outbreak of preventable diseases so that the children through personal Hygiene can grow intellectually and physically”
Lord Bernard from Trinity Nursery and Primary school Gbajimba emerged as Guma local government Hygiene Hero with a total point of 17 points closely followed by Raphael Fada of LGEA central who scored 16 points.