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Hand Washing

By 6 years ago
Categories Cape Town

I think that the biggest achievements we make on our healthcare project are those that make the simplest changes to lifestyles and general practises. Some of these are achieved by working directly with the children in the educares we visit, but most will be through information given to the staff and passed on by them over time to their children, both present and future.
When we arrived at this week’s site they would wash the children’s hands in the same bowl for the whole day. They would also use the same bowl to wash the dirty plates and cups, and occasionally rinse out cloths from any number of different jobs including nappy changing. It is often not a total lack of knowledge that amazes me, but the lack of understanding of this knowledge. The staff knew that it was important to wash and rinse things, but did not fully understand why.
Enter our trusty hand washing workshop. Armed with paint on the hands and a blindfold the carers were encouraged to wash their hands and see how well they had done. Both were almost spotless, which is encouraging, but the real demonstration lies in the state of the cloth, soap and bowl after the activity, which clearly made a real impact. Within an hour the children were lined up outside to have their hands washed under the tap and be shown the correct technique. This is a lesson that they will hopefully remember and pass on, if only the main message, for as long as they wash children’s hands. This is our achievement!
Nick Herrick – Medical Coordinator