Lifebuoy ambassador DJ Zinhle demonstrates to schoolgirls how to properly wash hands with soap at Nyamazane Primary School on Tuesday, which was the World Handwash Day. Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Most South Africans do not wash their hands after using the toilet - a situation that has prompted a leading soap manufacturer to rope in popular DJ Zinhle to help change this bad habit that leads to the spread of diseases such as Diarrhoea.

DJ Zinhle, who is a Lifebuoy ambassador on Tuesday visited Nyamazane Primary School, where - together with officials from the Health Department - took part Global Handwashing Day events. 

Lifebuoy, the world's leading health soap, marketed by Unilever, chose the school as this year's Global Handwashing Day venue based on  District Health Information System data reports. These reports show that some of the highest incidences of diarrhoeal diseases and fatalities occurred in the iLembe area in KwaZulu-Natal province, where the school is situated.. 

As many as 1 300 learners, teachers and parents partook in activities aimed at highlighting that washing hands with soap after using the loo prevents diseases from spreading. 

Diarrhoea continues to be a major public health problem in South Africa, which accounts for 3.4% of total deaths every year and remains one of the leading causes of death in the country. Studies show that diarrhoea is number eight on the list of leading causes of death in South Africa.

These studies also indicate that 60% of South Africans do not wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet or before they eat, and those that do, don’t use soap.

“I was excited to meet the kids and community of iLembe District. As a mother, I am passionate about children and their health,” said DJ Zinhle whose latest hit single titled 'Umlilo', has rocked the airwaves since August.

To encourage healthy hand washing habits, Lifebuoy donated wash basins to the school. 

"This is a great initiative towards curbing life-threatening preventable diseases, such as diarrhoea in children,” said the 35-year-old DJ whose real name is Zinhle Jiyane.

Doris Fisani, Principal of Nyamazane Primary School welcomed the guests . Local political leaders, representatives from the departments of basic education and health.

‘’To us, as a school, it is a great honour and we are so blessed. In the classrooms, teachers teach subjects about hygiene but today was more practical. It is an honour that Unilever has sponsored handwashing stations and all went well,” said Fisani. 

Sphelele Mjadu, PR Lead for Unilever Africa said: “This year’s Global Handwashing Day activities here in iLembe have further cemented Lifebuoy’s ongoing commitment to hygiene education to prevent the spread of infections and disease in South Africa,”

“We are grateful for the important partnerships, such as that with the Department of Basic Education, that allows us to reach so many children with lifesaving hand washing education. 

"We hope that the people reached through these activities this week will go on to share all they have learned to create a healthier community.”

African News Agency (ANA)