DAPP Reduces Diarrhoea Cases at MlumbwiraSchool - Case Story – LCSS Lilongwe
“We used to register 15 diarrhoea cases in a month but now we rarely hear that a learner has contracted the sanitation related disease,” recollects Odeta Beleko, a standard 3 teacher at Mlumbwira full primary school in the area of Traditional Authority Chitukula in Lilongwe.
DAPP Malawi through Let Children Stay in School (LCSS) project with funding from the Roger Federer Foundation introduced the sanitation and hygiene programme at Mlumbwira full Primary School in 2015 with an aim of reducing cases of learner absenteeism due to illnesses that comes with lack of sanitation and hygiene.
Through the programme, DAPP encouraged the school to use locally available resources to make hand washing facilities.
Considering the high incidences of diarrhoea the school was registering and knowing the importance of having hygiene facilities, the school did not hesitate to initiate these facilities using tree poles and empty plastic bottles. Each facility is made by erecting two poles, with another polefixed across the top of the two poles. A plastic bottle filled with clean water is hanged at waist level of a grown up person together with a container of laundry soap. These hand washing facilities are visibly seen at each door-step of every classroom at Mlubwira Primary School.
“Learners who visit the toilet wash their hands before entering my class. When I notice that a learner has visited the toilet and enters the class without washing hands, I ask that learner to go outside to do so. Once the pupil washes their hands, they are then allowed to enter the classroom. But for little ones who cannot manage to wash hands on their own, I help them.” Says Beleko.
Beleko who has been teaching at Mlumbwira for 3 years says her learners are now used to practising hygiene and that the school has managed to reduce cases of diarrhoea.
“Things have improved now. Before installing these hand washing facilities, diarrhoea among my learners was common but now the incidences have reduced by half. I teach my learners to always wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet because one can catch germs while in the toilet, so they wash their hands thoroughly with soap to let those germs go away.”Concludes Beleko