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Dirty data on Ugandans and toilets

By Moses Walubiri, Henry Sekanjako

Added 9th July 2017 09:03 AM

It's revealed that only 27% of Ugandans wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.

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It's revealed that only 27% of Ugandans wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.

Be honest. Do you wash your hands with soap after visiting the toilet?

WORLD POPULATION DAY | HYGIENE


KAMPALA - Uganda is set to join the rest of the world to celebrate World Population Day on July 11.

In the build-up to the day, minister of health, Dr. Ruth Aceng has given some sobering data about Uganda’s population, including the fact that only 27% of Ugandans wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.

With a population of about 38 million people as per the 2014 census, Ugandans who don’t wash hands after visiting the toilet amount to an unsettling 31 million.

If one is to deduct the population of babies, the number of adult Ugandans not washing hands  with soap after visiting the toilets would still be over 20 million.

“This tendency is aggravating the country’s disease burden yet it’s truly avoidable,” said Minister Aceng.

“With all due respect to the gentlemen in this House, the majority of those who don’t wash hands with soap after visiting toilets are men,” she told lawmakers, spawning a ripple of unease among male legislators and titters among their female colleagues.

Unlike the uproar that former vice president Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe caused in the 7th Parliament when she impugned the hygiene of men, saying that even those that look responsible have torn, dirty and smelly stockings, this time round, male MPs did not seek to challenge Aceng’s assertion.

Washing hands with soap is a basic hygiene tenet and an integral component of preventing the outbreak of diseases like diarrhea, dysentery and even cholera, according to the World Health Organization.

Matters are not helped by the fact that toilet coverage in Uganda, according to Aceng, is only 77% - yet this figure includes seasonal toilets.

 

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