ORBIA and UNICEF donate handwashing stations in Ecuador to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Installed in crowded locations, these handwashing stations will allow more children and their families to wash their hands and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other diseases.
Handwashing is one of the principal measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. To help safeguard the health of Ecuadorians and ensure that they have access to soap and water, UNICEF and the ORBIA company (in Ecuador Plastigama Wavin) have teamed up to design and produce 35 portable handwashing stations that are being distributed in eight cities in Ecuador.
The handwashing stations are being installed in heavily frequented locations such as markets, municipalities and health centers and will allow more children, adolescents and their families to wash their hands with clean water and soap in the places where they most need to.
These portable handwashing stations will also be installed in different schools in the country so that children have access to hand washing when they return to classrooms. This helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
The Santa Elena Health Center, in Guayas, in the south of the country, is one of the 35 locations in the country where this type of portable handwashing station has been installed to facilitate access to hand washing with soap and water. Every day these facilities are visited by families with children and adolescents.
"Access to this kind of sink is vital for us because it has become a tool for teaching users the practice of proper handwashing with soap and water.", says Dr. María Elena Crespo, Technical Director of the Santa Elena Health Center.
Outside the Santa Elena Health Center, nursing graduate Ericka Arguello, 26, gives a demonstration to relatives of patients, including children, of how to do proper handwashing with soap and water.
At UNICEF, we work to get all children used to handwashing with soap and water from a young age. This will protect them from viruses and bacteria throughout their lives.
In the promotional talks, the importance of hand washing with soap and water for at least 30 seconds is demonstrated, getting the soap suds to cover the hands completely and reach the height of the wrists and forearms. Many children benefit from these talks.
Erwin, 7, washes his hands with his mother, Josefina, while they wait for his father to finish an appointment at the Santa Elena Health Center. Erwin practices correct hand washing with soap and water, which he learned in the promotional talks given by officials at this center. Children are recommended to sing the birthday song twice while washing their hands with soap and water, as a way to calculate the optimal washing time.
This device is operated with a pedal to prevent hand contact with other surfaces. It can also be adapted to children’s heights as in the case of Erwin, who can make use of the sink without any difficulty. It also features soap, paper towels and antibacterial gel for a final disinfection.
How happy Erwin and his mom look with their hands clean and free of viruses and bacteria!
Sharon Molina carefully teaches her children, Joseph (8) and Scarlet Magallón (12) how to correctly wash their hands with the help of the portable sink, donated by ORBIA and UNICEF.
"It's important to have access to the sinks when we go shopping or visit places like this health center, because we touch things where the virus might be, so we must be constantly washing our hands with and soap and water," says Sharon Molina Bravo, mother and user of the portable sink.
"UNICEF thanks the ORBIA group at the global level and the company Plastigama WAVIN in Ecuador, who developed this joint action with UNICEF, in the framework of their water and sanitation sustainability strategy. It was a very important collaboration with the private sector and we hope that this also contributes to the COVID-19 health emergency response in Ecuador", concludes Koenraad Vancraeynest, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist at UNICEF Ecuador.
This initiative is part of our efforts to ensure that all children in Ecuador have access to hand washing with soap and water!