Parents learn to make soap to reduce diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers of young children globally, and a major threat in Uganda. Globally, more than 2,000 children die every day of diarrhoea. 75% of diarrhoea cases are attributed to contaminated food and water.
Save the Children’s sponsorship programme in central Uganda aims to ensure that children are safe and healthy. Children who are constantly exposed to diarrhoea often miss school and are unable to learn to their full potential.
Hygienic handwashing is an effective and low cost intervention which can be adopted to prevent hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhoea. However, it requires readily available water and soap.
Last year, our School Health and Nutrition (SHN) programme trained parents in making soap. The parents were selected from Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in Masuliita and Namayumba sub-counties in Wakiso district. After the training they were supported with materials to then train other parents in their communities.
In April this year, we equipped these trained groups with materials to help them produce soap for their own families, but also to take the lead in providing soap to schools.
The groups committed to providing schools with at least five litres of liquid soap every month, to supplement other local materials like ash.
The soap making will also help them improve their incomes, which in the long run should lead to better children’s wellbeing.
At least 60 VSLAs are now involved and benefiting from this project.