Durban University of Technology students doing the infection prevention and control certificate course at the Department of Nursing, hosted a short hand-washing project at Edu Bears Playcentre and Pre-School in Overport this week to teach the children to get into the habit of washing their hands.
The students identified the lack of hand-washing as a contributor to the spread of childhood diseases.
The group hopes their intervention will increase hand hygiene and reduce the transmission of infections.
Department of Nursing senior lecturer Dr Nellie Naranjee said the course used a project-based learning approach, in which students had to identify real world problems related to infection prevention and control and respond accordingly.
“Children are at particular risk for diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
“The best way to prevent infections is to teach the children about the importance of hygiene which is a critical step in reducing illness and death from several diseases.
“Proper hand-washing can lower exposure to germs, lessen the chances of illness which leads to better nutrition intake, more energy available for growth and development, and better attendance at school,” said Naranjee.
She said children’s immature immune systems and behavioural factors such as exploring objects with their hands and mouths made them particularly susceptible to and a good transmitter of communicable illnesses.
Edu Care founder and principal Zanitha Deonath said the session with the students allowed the children to have fun while learning why good hand-washing habits were important.
“We are grateful to be nominated as one of the organisations featured on the hand washing project which promotes healthy hygiene habits and education. It will definitely bring positive change in assisting us to prevent the spread of germs and infections,” Deonath said.
The Independent on Saturday