School children and residents of Traditional Authorities (TAs)Kawamba and Chulu in Kasungu have been taught hygienic practices that are important in fighting against trachoma, a disease which attacks eyes.
Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS), through a K60 Million project called Trachoma Elimination, are holding open days where communities and learners are encouraged to use toilets not bushes and washing their hands after using the toilet using a traditional man made device called ‘mpondagiya’.
Speaking at one of the open days at Malepera primary school in TA Kawomba in Kasungu, Evangelical Lutheran Development Services (ELDS) district project officer Chisomo Magelegele said the project will help learners and communities from the two targeted TAs prevent the disease which is caused by bacteria as a result of poor sanitation. In some cases, Trachoma is said to cause blindness.
“We embarked on this trachoma eliminating project in order to help and save both learners and communities of these T/As by teaching them not to use the bushes but use and keep their toilets clean and also use the ‘Mpondagiya’ device,
“The toilet is where most of people get bacteria which are mostly transferred by house flies. So through following these practices, they will protect themselves from trachoma,” said Magelegele.
In her remarks, Kasungu district school health and nutrition coordinator Florence Kasiya said she was glad with the project since it is contributing to the government’s efforts to have health school learners who will not skip classes due to illnesses.
“The project has reached out to the entire community and this is important because no learner will repeat classes because they skipped classes due to illnesses and also they will be prevented from contracting trachoma which can affect their progress,” said Kasiya.
The four year project started in April 2016 and is expected to end in April 2019 and it is funded by Water Aid International.