UJ’s Environmental Health students promote Hand-Washing awareness to combat preventable diseases

Recently, primary school children learnt how to avoid serious diseases with handwashing from University of Johannesburg (UJ) students and staff.

“We initiated this campaign to try assist in reducing childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases through introducing simple behavioral changes, such as handwashing with soap,” says Ms Charlotte Mokoatle, Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Health.

UJ Department of Environmental Health staff and students conducted a hand-washing campaign at Wilhelmina Hoskins Primary School in Riverlea on Friday, 3 June 2016 to motivate and mobilize learners to improve their handwashing habits by washing their hands with soap at critical moments throughout each day.

“Health education on hand washing aims to teach learners how to wash their hands properly, when to wash their hands and to also take the message home on the importance of regularly washing hands,” added Mokoatle.

“Our Second year students experienced putting into practice the concept of health education and health promotion for this specific target group, while understanding the importance of creating health and hygiene awareness in the profession of Environmental Health.”

Mokoatle concluded saying: “although this awareness aims to create long-lasting behavioral change, it does not expect to produce far-reaching results instantly,” says Mokoatle. “A project of this scale requires constant engagement and understanding of behavioral factors.”

Hand Washing Awareness
Ms Charlotte Mokoatle (UJ Lecturer) with Environmental Health students demonstrating to the learners how to properly wash hands.
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