“(...) I learnt that I have to use my right hand to greet people but I reserve the left one for my personal hygiene."
President Museveni is greeted in Busia during the World Population Day activities. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)
WORLD POPULATION DAY
BUSIA - President Yoweri Museveni has said that he dedicated his right hand to Ugandans and reserves the left one for himself for personal hygiene after he learnt that majority of Ugandans do not wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.
Museveni told people who attended the World Population Day activities at Madibira Primary School in Busia Municipality on Tuesday that the figures of Ugandans who not wash their hands with soap after helping themselves were so embarrassing and worrying.
He referred to the 2014 Population Census results which indicate that only 27 percent of Ugandans wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.
Museveni told the huge crowd said that this means that 73 percent of people "just walk away and do not wash their hands after helping themselves in the toilet".
"This is so embarrassing and shocking.
"It means that someone helps himself in the toilet and comes to shake your hands. He ‘donates' to you every dirt he has come with and you take it," he said as he criticized people who ignore simple personal hygiene rules.
Museveni said that he learnt personal hygiene around 1959 in his home area where a church minister taught them that they should always use the right hand to greet and use the left one for personal things in order to minimize contracting diseases from people who do not observe hygiene.
"Since that time I learnt that I have to use my right hand to greet people and I reserve the left one for my personal hygiene. That is why I dedicated this right hand to Ugandans and the left for myself," he emphasized.
Earlier, the minister of finance and economic development, Matia Kasaija said that poor household hygiene was one of the challenges government was planning to deal with after research indicated that a lot of tax payers' money was being spent on treating diseases like typhoid, diarrhea and dysentery because people had failed to practice personal hygiene.
Research indicates that even where water and soap are available, most people do not use them after visiting the toilet.