Health ministry intensifies campaign against open defecation
The Ministry, through the Uganda sanitation fund programme, has for the last six years been running a campaign against the practice of open defecation in 30 districts. The ministry has now spread the campaign to eight more districts. Hoima, Buliisa, Nakasongola, Namayingo, Napak, Mayuge, Nakapiripirit, and Sironko are the districts that have joined the list of districts with poor sanitation behaviour.
The officials say that open defecation and not washing one’s hands after you use the toilet is community problem that requires a community solution. Statistics on sanitation indicate that only 79% of Ugandans have latrines and toilets. As of 2015, the latrine coverage in Nakapiripirit stood at 23% and only 10% washed their hands after visiting a Latrine. Also, in Napak district in Karamoja Sub-region, only 13% had Latrines and 5.5 % washed their hands after visiting a latrine.
In Namayingo in Busoga sub-region, 48% had latrines while only 28.7 percent cleaned their hands after using the toilet, Mayuge district had 67 % with Latrines and only 24.4 % washed their hands. 67% of the households in Sironko District had latrines and only 31% washed hands after the toilet.In Nakasongola district, Buganda region, the Latrine coverage stood at 67% with only 27.6 % who think about washing their hands after visiting a Latrine. In Hoima and Buliisa districts, the atrine coverage was 68% and only 22% washed their hands after going to the toilet.
World health Organization reports indicate that Uganda spends over 380 million US dollars, which is approximately 1.4 trillion Uganda shillings, on treating diseases that are sanitation-related and diseases that can be prevented with good hygiene practices.In the 30 districts where the programme was first piloted, progress has been registered, with 94% of latrine coverage and hand washing. The health ministry says that though people have a right to defecate, it should not be done openly.In order to implement the Sanitation programme in the eight districts for the next three years, the ministry has received funding from the Global sanitation fund of the world health Organization.