Media briefed on last mile campaign open defecation

Friday, March 02, 2018

The Directorate of Health Promotion and Education under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its partners, Wednesday briefed the media on preparations for the launching of open defecation last mile campaign that will be held on 5th March in Brikama.

Organisers say the event will be an aggressive campaign to end open defecation in the country as it poses a risk to health protection and to save children and women who are normally exposed to abuse on open defecation.

Speaking at the briefing held at the National Malaria Control Programme office in Kanifing, Chaba Saidy Leigh from the directorate of water resources said from the inception of the programme in 2009, it have gone on very well, saying in the country, they are the pioneers of open defecation practice initiative measures.

According to him, when the programme was first introduced in the country in 2009, there was 4% practice of open defecation but when the piloting started in communities, the 2012 mix survey indicated that the rate dropped to 2% and in 2017, the data indicated a 1% rate of behavior practice. “The last mile to end open defecation in the country was initiated to overcome the 1% rate,” he declared.

 Ebrima Keita, from the environmental health unit of the ministry of health noted that pure sanitation must first be provided to change people’s behaviour towards open defecation. 

Modou Njai, director of health promotion and education said after the launching, they will conduct a nationwide caravan to raise awareness on the dangers associated with open defecation.

He appealed for partnership in the area of resource and community mobilisation to change behaviors towards the provision of suitable latrines to end open defecation. “If we don’t stop open defecation we are going to increase worm infestation especially among children less than five years.”

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie