Diarrhoea and typhoid cases to drop, thanks to virus measures

Saturday July 11 2020


Hand washing stations are available in public places including public transport stations. Photo | Cyril Ndegeya  

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Infections caused by poor sanitation may continue to decline in the coming months due to mandatory frequent hand washing enforced across the country as part of the precautionary measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

While limited access to water continues to pose sanitation challenges in some places, overall hand washing station availed in public places including public transport stations, markets and shopping malls are minimising the risk of sanitation related infections. Diseases caused by lack of hygiene are typhoid, diarrhea and hepatitis A.

In addition, in different public places in Kigali city and some parts of rural areas, washing or sanitizing hands are mandatory for everyone entering the venues, while some homes have been fitted with their wooden-made and jerry cans hand washing facilities are locally known as Kandagirukarabe.

This has increased awareness about the importance of personal hygiene.

A recent Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey shows that poor hygiene-related diseases for children under five years account for 12 per cent in the country.

However, along with washing exercises, the government has urged the people to minimized social contact and frequently mouth and noses touching, under the coronavirus mitigation mechanisms, which has played a role in the reduction of poor hygienic diseases.


Several Health officials talked to Rwanda Today indicate that both measures have both equally contributed to the reduction of the diseases caused by poor hygienic practices.

“People usually washed their hands as they are going to eat but now as the mitigation measures against the Covid-19, mind-set is progressively changing and they are washing hands regularly,” said Landward Habimana, a director of Gashora health centre.

“By analyzing the last three months’ figures, the sicknesses caused by poor hygienic practices have dramatically gone down since the washing hand measure has been adopted,” Mr Habimana added.

Habimana indicates that out of over 7, 700 people seek medical attention in three months period, only 241 people’s cases were of the poor hygienic illnesses, while over half of the medical attention seekers were all ailing due to the poor hygienic practices.