October 15, each year, is Global Handwashing Day. Research shows that the simple action of washing hands with soap on a habitual basis can reduce childhood rates of mortality from acute respiratory and diarrheal diseases by almost 50 per cent. Accordingly, the Lamp took this opportunity to stage our own event in support of this valuable campaign. Our Medical Director writes:
It’s a pleasure to write you about the special day of washing hands on October 15, 2013 at the clinic. Again with the big support of AmeriCares we have transformed this ordinary day into an extraordinarily informative and useful one. For 1 hour and 30 minutes we have educated the 71 persons who were present at this day in the clinic, who followed carefully the instructions and information provided by our nurses. Our nurses made a big demonstration on washing hands and invited the people to come and to reproduce this demonstration. It was totally funny and awesome to see the special care with which the persons did this. After the demonstration, we proceeded to some special quizzes with the people in order to give them as a gift some small hand sanitizers. Later, in the waiting room, the people were able to watch videos on some principles of washing hands, in order to remember the importance of this gesture. A team from AmeriCares Haiti, who provided materials for this event, came to the clinic on this day in order to see our activities. Once finished the consultation, each person received some materials in order to follow the instructions received at the clinic, including soap, hand sanitizers, and various buckets and containers for water.
The more our clinic can act as a conduit for special motivational campaigns such as this, and for health education in general, the less the demand for our services…. and the better we have fulfilled our mission!