Only 27% of Ugandans wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet, health minister Jane Ruth Aceng has said.
She said opinion leaders should encourage especially the men to be washing their hands after visiting the lavatories, Uganda leading Newspaper, Monitor reports.
“Short of this, we shall continue to have mortality due to preventable diseases like typhoid, cholera and dysentery,” Dr Aceng said during plenary on Wednesday, July 5 at Parliament.
“With due respect to all the men in the House, it is mainly the women who wash their hands. The men do not.”
Dr Aceng later told the Daily Monitor that many men are not washing their hands because they do not know the dangers associated with that.
“The ministry of health has been providing information via radio, television and village health teams. Perhaps the information is not clear. If it is clear, perhaps those who do not wash their hands do not believe there is a danger of touching themselves,” she said.
She said once one touches him or herself around his or her private areas, they might touch faecal matter and should they thereafter shake hands with someone, spread the germs.
Dr. Aceng was picking up from the state minister for planning, David Bahati, who had briefed the House about this year’s World Population Day, which will be commemorated on July 11 in Busia in eastern Uganda.
“One challenge this Parliament should be aware of is the low household hygiene…This has serious implications on the control of infectious diseases,” Mr Bahati said.
Mr Bahati said that one of every four teenage girls had a baby before she clocked 19 years.
This, he added, is a national concern that calls for concerted effort to ensure teenage girls are not impregnated before they are of age.