Published on: 07/10/2021
100 primary school teachers from 18 different schools in Tenkodogo are now trained in hand washing techniques. This is thanks to a training organised by IRC with the support of the American Foundation Latter-day Saints Charity (LDSC), on Thursday, September 23, 2021, as part of the Clean Hands, Good Health campaign.
It was in the presence of Oubda Diane, 2nd vice-mayor of Tenkodogo and Ouedraogo Robert, representing the Provincial Director of Education of the Boulgou province, that this training was conducted by Sidibé Ibrahim, extracurricular consultant/ambassador for water, hygiene and sanitation.
Overview of teachers participating in the training (Ph. D. Zongo)
Wash your hands with soap. This simple, everyday practice is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases such as corona, dysentery, cholera and typhoid. While it would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die needlessly each year from diarrhoeal diseases, this hygiene measure, which is supposed to be a reflex or a lesson learned from education, is not universally observed.
To address the complex socio-economic factors underlying the handwashing problem, IRC uses a friendly educational approach to change behaviour and adopt good hygiene practices. This approach is based on the transfer of knowledge from teachers to their pupils to maximise the impact within the family unit.
Therefore, a training was organised for 100 teachers from 18 schools in the district of Tenkodogo on September 23, 2021. This allowed educators to understand the benefits of handwashing and its techniques, using educational tools, in a relaxed atmosphere through games, songs and stories. The critical moments requiring handwashing; the consequences and diseases related to dirty hands, the benefits of handwashing, the key steps of handwashing, the usefulness of posters and hygiene kits, etc., were some of the topics addressed during the training.
For Oubda Diane, 2nd Vice-Mayor of Tenkodogo, "this training session marks the beginning of an information and awareness campaign for the promotion of personal hygiene, in particular, hand hygiene. It will improve the health of citizens and their living conditions." She welcomed the partnership between the municipality of Tenkodogo and IRC and officially launched the Clean Hands, Good Health campaign in Tenkodogo.
The representative of the provincial director of education, Ouedraogo Robert, expressed his thanks to IRC for choosing Tenkodogo and encouraged all teachers to take part and internalise the lessons learned. "Tenkodogo must live up to this choice and its pupils must be ambassadors of hygiene for other pupils in our province," he said.
The trained teachers will in turn pass on what they have learned to their respective classes by adapting the teaching methods, including the language, to ensure that the pupils better grasp the concepts. According to the trainer, Mr. Sidibé, "300 practical sessions are expected, at a rate of 3 sessions per class, during the campaign in October 2021, for a target of 3000 pupils."
At the training session the 100 trained teachers were each provided with a hygiene kit consisting of a handwashing device, 6 soap balls, an awareness-raising poster, a banner per school or group of 2 schools located in the same compound, and 3 rolls of cleaning paper.
From left to right, Ouattara Mamadou, driver at IRC, Bancé Wahabou, assistant accountant at IRC, Zombra Tingandé Prosper, Director of Gogaré A school, Sidibé Ibrahim Goodwill Ambassador for Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (Ph. D. Zongo)
As a WASH ambassador, Sidibé Ibrahim thinks that: "the project is to be saluted and even more so its bearers, IRC and the LDSC Foundation, who took care to provide each teacher with a sanitary kit to instil good hygiene values in children. It is a way of arming them". He pleads that the initiative be extended to other schools.
Minoungou Hamado, focal point for School Life Improvement, took the floor to thank the project leaders for having thought of Tenkodogo, and made a commitment on behalf of all the beneficiary teachers to carry out this mission and to continue raising awareness among pupils even after the campaign period. "Handwashing is a noble and simple gesture that saves lives and everyone should do it", he concluded.