TESTIMONIAL – I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to the health zone of Kasenga in the Province of Upper Katanga to talk with members of a Community Animation Cell (CAC). I was drawn to the testimony of Chantal, a very dynamic woman involved in improving the health of children in her community.
Chantal, a mother who didn’t know the importance of hand washing
“My name is Chantal, I’m 29 years old and I am the mother of 4 children. I live in the village of Kisamamba and I’m a member of CAC Tukingiye. After Suzana, my 4th child, became 2 years old, she never went beyond two weeks without having diarrhoea and vomiting. I was afraid of losing her because of my lack of knowledge.
Since November 2017, my family and I have started listening to radio broadcasts about the importance of washing your hands and participating in CAC debate sessions. Then, I began to wash my hands at 5 critical moments. It is important to wash your hands after changing the baby’s diapers, before breastfeeding and before eating. After two months, Suzana no longer had diarrhoea! I thank the radio and the members of the CAC for informing me. Now, my child is in good health.”
Spread good practices and raise awareness among communities
According to the nurse in charge of the health area where Chantal lives, the number of cases of diarrhoea has drastically decreased since November 2017, when hand washing messages began to be broadcasted by local radios. These messages were supported by door-to-door outreach in the different villages, not by CAC members.
Community awareness has also had an impact on diarrhoea. Since November 2017, the number of cases has decreased from 12 cases per week down to 5! The use of good practices, such as hand washing, has proved to be effective in fighting dirty hand diseases. Remember that everyone likely to put their hands in their mouth should wash them before cooking, before eating, before breastfeeding, after changing a baby’s diaper, after being in the toilet and after doing manual labour.
Translated from French by Ariane Apodaca
Latest posts by Bonane Bugeso (see all)
- Talking about vaccination on the radio to spread awareness - 25 April 2018
- Why is it important to wash your hands? - 26 March 2018