By Olimatou Coker
Non-profit organisation Hear Women-The Gambia has completed a training for students on public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage.
It was staged at the Nyakoi Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School in the Upper River Region.
The event also witnessed a distribution of sanitary materials to participating students.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, the country coordinator of Hear Women-The Gambia, madam Susan Jatta, said the organisation was established in 2017 with the intention to advocate for vulnerable groups – women and children.
She said the training was part of a one-year project, which was funded by Al-Khair Foundation and implemented by Hear Women-The Gambia.
It seeks to improve the health status of rural Gambian students on hygiene and reproductive health.
School administrators and parents, were also targeted, Ms Jatta said.
She said: “Nyakoi was among the selected schools in Upper River Region and Central River Region for the project [which is] focusing on health sanitation. We believe that when preventive measures of such are imparted in the mindsets of students, it would go a long way in reducing certain diseases frequent in our communities.”
She also urged them to spread and operationalise lessons learnt for a common good.
Kelepha Kandeh, the lead trainer of the project and a public health worker, thanked Hear Women for initiating such “a noble project”.
He said if lessons learnt are practiced, sanitary practices would also improve.
Bubacarr Kanteh, a teacher at Nyakoi, expressed delight with the training and said: “I learnt about crucial personal hygiene and waste management which are very fundamental in human life.”
Madam Yaye Keita, a representative of Mothers’ Club committee of Nyakoi, said the training gave her an opportunity to learn new things that are very useful to personal life.
Sambang Juwara, vice-president of Mothers’ Club, said: “The knowledge gained is very instrumental towards helping us to adapt preventive measures in attainment of personal hygiene.”
Matida Jawneh, a student from Nyakoi, also thanked Hear Women and Al-Khair Foundation for the training, naming it “noble gesture”.
The training featured topics such as waste management, water related diseases and role of parents, staff and students.