Forget an apple a day, washing your hands keeps both disease and doctor away
By Natasha Jacha.
The U.S Embassy Namibia joined the Ministry of Health and Social Services in increasing awareness for the Global Handwashing Day and the Hepatitis E outbreak, during the recent visit to the Oshana and Omusati Region a fortnight ago.
Handwashing is an important and low-cost intervention that will help to end the hepatitis E outbreak with the provision of piped water and sanitation facilities and simple interventions such as building and using a Tippy Tap provide in areas where access to water is limited.
According to the Minister of Health and Social Sciences, Dr. Bernard Haufiku, the hepatitis E outbreak weekly situation reports indicate that the virus is still infecting new people weekly.
“The U.S. Embassy in Namibia, through the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia office, is committed to continuing its support of the Health Ministry and its partners in addressing the current Hepatitis E outbreak,” said Ambassador Lisa Johnson.
“We encourage the ongoing efforts to decrease the spread of the virus. One immediate and practical response that we hope everyone can work towards in their daily life is good handwashing practices,” added Johnson.
Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually on 15 October. It is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Furthermore the day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
Caption: U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson washes her hands using a Tippy Tap located at the community-based ART clinic at Akutsima.