Hygiene and sanitation effective in reduction of school dropouts – DEM

Proper hygiene and sanitation is said to be one of the factors that could help in reducing dropout among learners in schools, Lilongwe Rural East District Education Manager (DEM), Anderson Kuboma Ntandika has said.

Matondo school learners displaying their trophy

He was speaking when he presented a certificate of excellence and a trophy to Mitondo Primary School in Chowo Zone in Traditional Authority Chitukula for being the overall best school in hygiene and sanitation on Sunday.

The DEM observed that apart from helping in disease prevention, the awards are meant to encourage learners to remain in school.

“Learners need a conducive environment for them to stay in school and concentrate on their studies, it is therefore important that we join hands to ensure that this is achieved,” Ntandika said.

He said it was impressive to note that learners at the school have also taken up the task of sensitizing surrounding communities in sanitation issues.

Group Village Headman Masula said people in the area now give hygiene and sanitation matters a priority, courtesy of the knowledge they acquire from learners at the school.

“Despite being a newly established school and small in terms of enrollment, Mitondo has great ideas and has accomplished a lot.

“Almost every household in this area has a toilet because of the sensitization campaigns that the learners conduct from time to time,” he claimed.

With funding from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, the initiative is being supported by Amref Health Africa, a nongovernmental organization committed to improving health in various African countries.

Amref Health Africa Programme Manager, Meriam Kalyolyo explained that by supporting the schools to follow proper hygiene and sanitation practices, diseases such as trachoma which cause blindness are eliminated.

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