In many underdeveloped countries, particularly Haiti, a lot of children die before reaching the age of five. What is the culprit? Often these casualties are due to illnesses such as cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, and now COVID-19 is a potential threat.
The solution to mitigate these issues is so easy it’s hardly conceivable that in our modern era with all of the technological advancements that most of us enjoy right at our fingertips, it has not been established globally. The answer to this deadly problem is simple – handwashing. Field Supervisor Kirinus Accilien says that, “Handwashing is essential in the fight against the transmission of [the Coronavirus and] many other diseases.”
Just some soap, water, and scrubbing could prevent a slew if sickness, huh? Could it really be that easy? In principle, yes. In practice, it’s a bit more complex. One primary obstacle towards solutions here is that many schools do not have the proper amenities to allow people to wash their hands. Field supervisor Kirinus Accilien shared that it is very important to raise awareness, especially of children and caregivers, of the need for regular hand washing and hygiene.
He believes that it is crucial to do what is necessary to protect as many people as possible from transmitting illnesses. This is why Haiti Outreach plays such an active role in promoting proper sanitation and hygiene practices when engaging communities.
Kirinus has noted an overall increase in Haitian citizens who wash their hands in recent years. He attributes the change to an increase in campaign efforts to bring more awareness to the importance of handwashing in his country. He is delighted that Haiti Outreach has contributed to this progress, which not only impacts the people’s access to clean water but also in educating them about the value of proper hygienic practices.
Now that the Coronavirus has entered Haiti our work has become even more essential. In order to protect our staff and still advance our mission, our team in Haiti is working on creating an infographic and dubbing a YouTube video to teach them how to wash their hands properly and stay safe. Our animators will be using WhatsApp to communicate with the communities – from a distance. We will continue to share more updates on our progress in advancing our mission amidst this current epidemic.