Stop Diarrhoea in Lagos, Nigeria
Children for Health worked with the Save the Children team in Lagos, Nigeria for several years on their ‘Stop Diarrhoea Initiative’. We conducted for training events for teachers and local officials and developed a suite of materials focussing on children as agents of change and diarrhoea prevention. We were very pleased to see in their bulletins, how Save the Children’s work with the teachers and schools is ‘landing’ in the community!
600 Children Demonstrate the Importance of Hand Washing
by Folake Kuti, Advocacy Adviser
The Stop Diarrhoea Initiative seized the opportunity of Global Hand Washing Day to emphasise the importance of teaching children the right way to wash their hands to reduce infection. 600 school children selected from the School Health Club across the communities of Somolu Local Government Area and Bariga LCDA washed their hands with soap simultaneously.
Global Hand Washing Day is observed each year on October 15, since 2008. The day is set aside to sustain awareness and promote easy and cost-effective ways of preventing hygiene-related infections, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.
In support of this year’s theme “Out hands, out future”, Save the Children in Nigeria encouraged parents and guardians to “teach their children to wash hands correctly always, to improve their life options and wellbeing”. This is consistent with the objective of the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, with support from Reckitt Benckiser.
This initiative seeks to demonstrate the efficacy of the of the WHO/UNICEF recommend 7 point plan for diarrhoea prevention among children under 5, of which hand washing is a core element.
According to the latest Oxford Policy Management research conducted in August 2017 on the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative in Somolu and Bariga, there were significant improvements in hand washing with soap before eating (from baseline 55 % in 2014 to 65% in the 2017 midterm evaluation.)
Experience and research suggest that children remain strategic in behaviour change communication. This underscores Save the Children inclusion of over 850 school children in the campaign. Apart from the hand washing demonstration on the day, the report of the Community Score Card conducted before the campaign was used to facilitate discussions with decision-makers invited for the event. They were also asked to provide clean toilet facilities with contact running water and to make soaps always available in toilets at school premises.
Children to Make Voice Heard Learning Photovoice
By Babafemi Ajayi, Nwamaka Ifionu and Adetokundo D. Lawrence
Child-let advocacy is a priority approach for Save the Children to ensure child participation. Efforts towards this goal were made with a photovoice training for primary school pupils in the Bariga area of Lagos, Nigeria. The training was facilitated by the Social Behaviour Change Communication and School Health team led by Babafemi Ajayi, School Health Coordinator, with progression support from Oghenefego Ofili, professional photographer and woman and children’s rights activist.
Fourteen children (8 boys and 6 girls) from 7 school health clubs were selected to participate. Camera management, image capturing, story development, how to capture desired images like a treasure hunt, as well as safety and ethical documentary, were the key topics.
Photovoice is a process by which people use photography to identify, represent and enhance their communities. Based on the production of knowledge and information, it allows to record and reflect community’s strengths and concerns, promote dialogue about important issues through large and small group discussion of photographs, and to advocate with stakeholders and decision makers.
Child-led Advocacy on World Toilet Day
By Afolabi Lukeman and Folake Kuti
Save the Children’s “Stop Diarrhoea Initiative” and the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, with support from Reckitt Benckiser, celebrated World Toilet Day 2017 under the theme “wastewater”. The School Health Club sponsored by Save the Children used the opportunity to draw the attention of the government and community members on the importance of toilets for the health and wellbeing of children. The Hon. Commission of the Ministry for the Environment gave the commitment of the Lagos State Administration to ensure adequate sanitation services.