The "HAPPY LEARNERS PROJECT" will use Visual aids, Poems and Rhymes to teach and create handwashing awareness in 2000 children 5 to 12 years in 25 schools in Kaduna State. We are also using this avenue to support children's school attendance and teacher's shift towards embracing proper hygiene and health education. A 6-month sustainability plan will give these children and their teachers time to embed these new habits and secure a healthy future where they become change makers in the community.
Nigeria is one of the 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia which contribute 80 per cent of child mortality annually. A recent outbreak of cholera at the Government Girls' Secondary School, Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State led to the death of one student while 55 others were hospitalized and lost weeks from their academic studies. Despite recent improvements of health statistics and macro-economic indicators, millions of children still die annually worldwide.
While children are disproportionally affected by water-related illness, all child deaths caused by such communicable diseases are preventable. A systematic review published in the Lancet showed that simple behavioral changes, such as handwashing with soap, can reduce child mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases. This simple action can reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 per cent in developing countries. Proper hygiene education is a critical step.
1. Reduce the number of health-related absence or even death in the schools. 2. Increase children's participation and attendance in academics which improves the school educational performance and standards. 3. Create awareness and action to ensure cleanliness in classrooms and the entire school. 4. Present the school as a model to other schools in the environs. 5. Parents and family members become indirect beneficiaries as they learn to maintain a clean and healthy environment in the community.