Local government calls for improved hygiene to prevent infectious diseases outbreak

The ministry of local government has ordered districts mayors to strengthen hygiene campaigns in a bid to prevent the outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases including Coronavirus and Ebola.

The message was delivered during the monthly Umuganda-community work on Saturday which was dedicated to clean-up at the household level as a way of keeping hygiene in the community.

 

“The community work was carried out at the household level in order to keep hygiene in homes, on bodies, clothes and others as a way of preventing infectious diseases outbreak,” Hassan Bahame, the Director-General of Social Affairs and Community Development at the ministry of local government.

 

Bahame urged all districts to strengthen hygiene campaigns in all public places and homes by setting up necessary hand-washing facilities.

 

“We are telling all Rwandans, all local government institutions and private institutions, all mayors to implement commitments pledged to promote hygiene to fight against an outbreak of diseases such as coronavirus and Ebola that are affecting many countries,” he said.

Jeanne Mutoni, the Vice Mayor in Charge of Social Affairs in Rwamagana district said that they have put more efforts into hygiene campaigns.

“We are urging people on hygiene and sanitation in homes, public places, buses and others. Currently, restaurants, bars, bus parks, markets, hospitals, banks have washing hand facilities with disinfectant,’ she said.

She added that they have set up a district sanitation centre which educates people on hygiene and sanitation.

“The centre teaches people how to enhance hygiene and sanitation by doing practice since the centre has all facilities related to hygiene,” she said.

Patricie Mukangarambe, the Director of Public Health and Environment in the city of Kigali said that public toilets with washing hands facilities are one of the hygiene facilities in the city.

“There are punishments imposed on people who urinate in unsuitable places,” she said.

 Dr Jose Nyamusore, the division manager of Epidemic Surveillance and Response Division at Rwanda Biomedical Centre said that there are three ways of hygiene including external and internal body hygiene as well as environmental hygiene.

“Research shows that if people wash hands with clean water and soap, it reduces reduce 21 per cent of diarrhoea diseases and over 51 per cent of diseases for children and other people with less body’s immunity. It also prevents flu spreading at 23 per cent, among other infectious diseases,” he said.

He said that washing hands after reaching home from work, washing hands before breastfeeding is very crucial for mothers.

Fighting Coronavirus

Keeping hygiene is one of the ways of preventing the outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases, especially Coronovirus that is currently threatening the world, he said.

Rwanda has stepped up preparedness for the novel coronavirus by setting up a test lab at Rwanda Biomedical Centre's National Referral Lab in Kigali, making the country the second in the region to establish such a facility after Kenya.

Dr Nyamusore said that all hospitals should have reserved rooms in case of such disease outbreaks.

“Districts should also have at least two reserved rooms that can host patients suspected of Coronavirus diseases infection in case it might befall. Businesses, motorcyclists should have hygienic materials to fight Ebola and Coronavirus. This means ownership of each person is paramount,” he said.

So far Coronavirus has killed 2,933 people and there are 85,721 cases being surveyed by doctors.

Coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 61 countries and territories around the world.

To reduce your risk from the new coronavirus infection, doctors urge to clean hands regularly, not to touch your face after touching contaminated surfaces, clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant and educate yourself about the disease and make sure workplaces are clean and hygienic.

In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

 WHO stated there is a high risk of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading to other countries around the world?

The disease has also attacked Africa as Nigeria's first case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Lagos, the country's commercial hub and most populous city, the Lagos state government confirmed early Friday.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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