Society / Health & Science
Saturday, 22 Oct 2016 20:40 EATbmulu@kenyafreepress.com
Many primary schools in Kitui County are set to benefit a hygiene promotion programme by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Making the announcement, the UNICEF Kitui County Wash Project Focal Person, Justina Pereira, said that the benefits include the construction of toilets, provision of water tanks and pipeline extensions in the schools. Ms Pereira is also the Kenya’s Education Ministry’s Educational Assessment Resource Centre (EARC) Coordinator in Nzambani District, Kitui County.
She was lecturing the primary schools Wash health clubs patrons from Kitui, Matinyani, Katulani, Kisasi and Nzambani Districts of Kitui during a two-day hygiene promotion education training seminar organised for them by the UNICEF in conjunction with the Kitui County Basic Education, Training and Skills Development Ministry at the Kitui Parkside Villa Hotel. Kitui comprises a total of 16 administrative districts. “We do the hygiene promotion education for the good of our schoolchildren and the community in our county,” Ms Pereira said.
The educationist asked the schools wash health clubs patrons and the community to use the child-to-child approach to promote wash in schools. She said that the treatment of the hygiene related diseases was costly, so people should take hygiene promotion seriously to prevent the diseases.
Ms Pereira added that using the sanitiser is hygienically good. “It is for hand washing even when you have no water, it is used and the germs in the hands die,” she said. “In the end results we are expecting reduction of hygiene-related diseases, reduction of cases of absenteeism by learners, increase in retention rate, transition rate and improved performance,” she said.
On his part, the Kitui County Basic Education Assistant Director, Emmanuel Kalunda, thanked Ms Pereira and the participants for making the event successful. He said that they the county ministry partners with Ms Pereira in running the Kitui County Wash Project. The director said that they the county ministry have been doing a mentorship programme for the local schoolchildren since August 2014. “The programme has made the improvement of the education in the county possible,” Mr Kalunda said.
He said that they have 11 centres for the programme, including those at the Kitui High, Mutonguni Secondary, Mulango Girls High, Sombe Girls Secondary, Mutomo Girls Secondary, Ikutha Boys Secondary, Kanyangi Boys Secondary, Migwani Boys Secondary, Mwingi Boys Secondary, Nguni Secondary and Kyuso Boys Secondary Schools.
The director said that due to Governor Julius Malombe's commitment towards improving the education in the county, he had already provided primary schoolchildren with mattresses and beds in each of the county’s 40 wards. Simon Muema Munyoki, who spoke on behalf of the local Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Primary School Heads Association, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education offices, thanked the UNICEF and the Kitui County government for organising the training.
Boniface is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Kitui County