Madagascar schools weigh in on the reopening amid hygiene fears

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  • Mbirungi
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  • Machrine Birungi is a communications professional, award winning news reporter, writer, and journalist, with a passion for telling stories that help people make informed decisions. She is currently a social media analyst at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in Geneva.
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Madagascar schools weigh in on the reopening amid hygiene fears

 

Dear SuSanA colleagues, 

Happy Friday. 

I am excited to share with you yet another article penned by Hoby Randrianimanana from Madagascar which highlights the need for increased investments in WASH in schools especially as countries consider re-opening the gates once again. 

For many schools in Madagascar, Hand hygiene, an essential factor in the prevention of disease transmission remains a huge challenge. 

Mr Njaka Randrianarison, an officer in the WASH department of Madagascar's ministry of Education describes the situation; “Most schools in the country suffer from lack of access to facilities related to water, sanitation and hygiene, particularly toilets and handwashing stations.“ "Separate investments and prioritization of WASH projects in schools are needed to address the current situation,” he says.

The recent guidelines  on WASH in schools, which was developed by the Ministry of Education with WSSCC and other partners, highlights the shocking statistics: 85 percent of public primary schools and secondary schools don’t have access to drinking water, and 35 percent of these schools lack functional latrines.This has a direct impact on students’ health.

According to Dr Norohasina Rakotoarison, a Health and Environment Department Chief at Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health, 3.5 million school days are lost every year in Madagascar due to illnesses caused by poor hygiene and lack of WASH infrastructure in schools.

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Machrine Birungi
Communications Analyst/ Social media
LinkedIn Profile: bit.ly/2yoThea
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