A public-private partnership programme to improve hygiene at schools is gaining momentum and hopes to reach 15 000 schools this year, Pretoria Moot Rekord reports.
The programme by the department of basic education and Domestos reached 1 500 children in 31 schools last year and “aims to reach 15 000 public primary schools nationally” this year.
The 21-day programme seeks to change hygiene practices among the learners and then encourage them to teach their parents at home.
Domestos manufacturer Unilever said following the launch last year, teachers had noted a significant rise in hygiene awareness, a decrease in illness and an improvement in school attendance.
“The programme is designed to help kids prevent certain infections and stay healthy by practicing good hygiene,” the company said.
The company said teachers implemented the programme during the life orientation class as part of the Unilever sustainable living plan goal to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020.
“Domestos has been leading the fight against poor hygiene and sanitation since 2010 with its cleaner toilets-brighter future school renovation programme, which has reached over 27 000 learners in 27 schools.
“In 2015, we launched the germ-busters club programme, and now, together with the national hygiene programme have collective reached more than 1 006 816 children at 1 210 South African schools,” it said.
The company said when general- and sanitation hygiene dropped below satisfactory levels, this could be detrimental to the overall operation of the school and attendance.
“The need for improved hygiene and sanitation across schools has remained a priority for the government and Domestos.”