In 2018, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN) in collaboration with its partner launched the EDPOSD project. This project is aimed at bringing lasting change to vulnerable populations, by supporting and enabling community members especially disadvantaged groups (including people affected by leprosy, people with disabilities, women, children and internally displaced persons) to take responsibility in driving sustainable development in 19 communities in 5 states of Nigeria. However, TLMN observed that children living in areas with poor sanitary conditions are more susceptible to ailments related to sanitation and lack of personal hygiene; and schools contribute largely to child health by providing adequate sanitary facilities and safe drinking water. Unfortunately, many schools do not have these facilities and this can contribute to ill health, absenteeism and high dropout rates of children. Therefore, as part of the activities that will lead to the achievement of the overall aim of the EDPOSD project, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN) chose to carry out a school-based awareness campaign on hygiene, sanitation and health in Karmajiji Disabled People’s Village, a community characterized by substandard housing, unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and limited access to healthcare. Upon her visit, TLMN chose the FCT Centre of Advocacy Inclusive Persons with Disability Nursery and Primary School, one of the schools in the Karmajiji Disabled People’s Village, for this campaign.
During the campaign, 201 pupils, 19 teachers and over 115 community members were trained on sanitation, healthy living and the link between poor hygiene and diseases. A pictorial and demonstration method was adopted and it spanned the following thematic areas; health concerns related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), key hygiene impact behaviors, personal hygiene and body care, safe use of toilets and urinals, waste management and a practical demonstration on universal hand washing procedures. At the end of the exercise, items such as handwashing bowls, antiseptic soaps, towels, waste disposal bins, brooms and packers were handed over to the school management.
In his closing remark, the Head Teacher of the school acknowledged TLMN’s contribution to ensure healthy living for children of people living with disabilities and pledged that the donated items will be properly used.