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Eliminating the spread of infection diseases in schools and communities in Northeast Cambodia

Good hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs and defend the spread of illness, including the current outbreak of COVID-19.

With the support by Lyreco for Education, CARE Cambodia is improving the health and quality of life for ethnic minority women and girls, through improved availability and accessibility to quality water and hygiene practice in schools. CARE has installed WASH facilities at the 14 schools including water tanks, solar powered pumping system, toilets, wells, incinerators and water filters.

Furthermore, the project has started a training program for students on proper handwashing and sanitation of 2,541 (1,394 girls) students of which 1,131 (621 girls) are ethnic minority students, including 17 disability students (10 girls).

This month the project team the visited the project activities in Hun Sen Meanchey Primary School which is located around 100 kilometers from Saen Monorom town. Here the project has installed WASH facilities, currently being used by girls and boys students from differences ethnic minorities.

Lim Saphada, a Bunong student said, “Now I practice my handwashing regularly both at home and at school. My teacher taught me and my school mates on how to wash my hand correctly, and I washed my hands as soon as I arrived home or school. I know that dirty hands can make me sick and I can get worms in my intestines if I eat food without washing our hands. I understand that when I wash your hands, I can protect myself from germs and also protect some people in your family.”

The drinking of clean water and regular hand washing can help students to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the novel coronavirus and prevention of diarrhea that could severely affect our health. It is important to make sure that all students can use clean water for drinking and washing their hands correctly.

“My friends and I are very happy that our school has toilets for boys and girls. It also has enough water and menstrual materials for use. I now know clearly about the steps of correct hand washing. I will share this knowledge, including the importance of handwashing and drinking clean water with my neighbors so that they will wash their hands at all times, especially before dining, after using the restroom and blowing their nose or sneezing’’, said Sean Sryleak, a female Bunong student.

Ms. Khoeurn Narim, school director at Hun Sen Meanchey Primary School added that: “The students have improved their behavior on washing hands regularly, hygenic using of the toilets, and protected themselves from other diseases through regular practices on hand washing with soap. I am committed to manage waste in the school grounds and oversee menstrual hygiene management, and improve the government school environment ratings to increase it from star two to star three in the coming academic year”.

These activities are part of CARE’s Ethnic Minority Women Program, which is funded by Lyreco for Education.

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