St Lucia: Ministry of Health stresses importance of hand hygiene
St Lucia: Ministry of Health stresses importance of hand hygiene

St Lucia: Bureau of Health Education within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs is currently undertaking a series of hand hygiene educational sessions in various schools around the island aimed at sensitizing young children about the importance of hand washing.

The initiative provides students with the opportunity to be educated in a fun and interactive way on the proper way to wash hands and gain an appreciation for the benefits of hand washing.

Family Life Educator in the Bureau of Health Education Shirlan Edward spoke on the need to target younger children to ensure they build healthy habits.

“We targeted that section of the population because we felt it was important because it is a bigger cross-section of the population. They are able to go to their homes and educate their parents and their caretakers. They are more receptive to the information in learning and understanding. We are more able to teach and instil in them the proper hand washing practices and the purpose for hand washing, especially now with the increase in COVID-19 cases, the infection rate is high, so we felt it fitting that we should target the schools.”

Family Life Educator in the Bureau of Health Education, Amelia Charles, says it is extremely important that children practice good hand-washing behaviours. “Hand hygiene is crucial when it comes to infection prevention and control. What happens is since our hands are our first point of contact when we speak to people or when eating, or in various activities, we engage in, we use our hands a lot. It is very important that we remind the little ones or we teach them the proper way of washing their hands. It is important that we remind the little ones or remind them of the many times they have to wash their hands and the way it is important that they wash their hands.”

The World Bank supports hand hygiene educational activities in schools through the Health Systems Strengthening Project HSSP.