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Mozambique, 15 October 2015: Puppet theatre encourages students to wash their hands

© UNICEF Mozambique/2015/Cremildo Assane
“Today I learnt that I must wash my hands with soap and water or ash, only water is not enough. It is dangerous for my health,” says Ussene Junior, an 11 year old.

Magude, Maputo Province – “I didn’t know it was too risky to eat without washing my hands with soap or ash after using the latrine. I will wash my hands every day to avoid disease now,” says Ussene Junior, an 11 year old boy participating in the World Handwashing Day campaign on 15 October.

At the launch of the campaign “Health is in your hands”, organized by the Ministry of Health with the support of UNICEF, Junior watched a puppet theatre performance by Rafo Diaz. Together with about 1.000 other children, he learnt about the importance of hygiene and sanitation to prevent diarrhea.

“I always wash my hands with water only. Sometimes my grandmother tells me to wash with soap and water when she sees that my hands are really dirty,” Junior says.“Today I learnt that I must wash my hands with soap and water or ash, only water is not enough. It is dangerous for my health!”

Junior is an orphan and lives with his grandmother. He still attends Grade 3 at the Primary School of Magude after many years of interrupted studies with his family difficulties.

Junior decided to share the important message about handwashing in the “Puppet Theatre” with his closest family and friends. He explains, “when I get home I will talk to my grandmother and my friends from my neighborhood and explain thatwe have to wash our hands with soap, even if they appear clean, before eating and after using the latrine. And if we do not have soap we’ll use ash to prevent diseases like diarrhea and cholera.”

The World Handwashing Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease and save lives.

The campaign “Health is in your hands” will continue throughout the country, from 15 October until World Latrine Day on 19 November.

 

 
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