President Yoweri Museveni has called upon medical practitioners to teach the people the importance of hand washing.
The President, who was speaking at the Global Hand Washing Day celebrations, held at Boma grounds in Kamuli district, Busoga Sub-Region, said that 47% of the diseases that afflict people can be prevented through hand washing.
“Most illnesses are because of lack of knowledge. The trick is to understand the science of disease transmission. You should wash your hands with soap and do it properly,” he said.
He said that he learnt a long time ago that one hand is his and the other is for the public. “My right hand is for Uganda and my left hand is mine. During confirmation studies we were told to put the Eucharist on the left hand and use the mouth to pick and eat it. This was because the right hand would be dirty after greeting so many people,” he said.
The theme for this year’s Global Hand Washing Day was “Make Hand Washing a Habit”. The occasion is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding the importance of hand washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent and save lives.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, requested President Museveni for construction of a market and more hospitals in Kamuli district to cater for the increase in the population. “We ask government to plan for the population growth in Kamuli. People come to Kamuli Hospital from other districts for medical attention,” she said.
State Minister for Environment, Hon Kintu Mary, reported that only 36% of Ugandans wash their hands after visiting the bathroom. “We want to promote hand washing not only when going to eat but also after visiting the bathroom, changing diapers and other activities,” she said.
She said that the Ministry of Water and Environment would work hand in hand with the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure that the number of Ugandans who wash their hands increases to at least 80% by promoting hand washing among students because, she added, children are very good agents of change.