MOH

Health Ministry adopts sanitation policies to fight diseases

'Kenya is one of 26 countries in the world responsible for 90 per cent of open defecation'

In Summary

•Mutahi Kagwe said that global access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and intensified hygiene education can reduce illness and death from disease.

•He said this would in turn lead to improved health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development.

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi at a past event.
Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi at a past event.
Image: FILE

Ministry of Health (MoH) has developed several policy documents and strategies to provide a framework for the implementation of sanitation and hygiene interventions as a means to reduce diseases and poverty.

In a statement on Tuesday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that global access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and intensified hygiene education can reduce illness and deaths in Kenya.

He said this would in turn lead to improved health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development.

On Tuesday, MOH  launched three menstrual hygiene management documents and urban sanitation guidelines to strengthen hygiene and sanitation in the country.

The documents which include Hygiene Promotion in Schools, Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools, and the Kenya National Guidelines for Implementation of Urban Sanitation were launched by Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi on behalf of Kagwe.

"The Ministry is currently reviewing its rural sanitation protocols and strategies including, the rural sanitation and hygiene protocol, its implementation guidelines and monitoring framework, the Sanitation and hygiene roadmap," she said.

She said the guidelines will ensure that development plans for urban areas have in-built sanitation components and the sanitation systems are designed and managed safely to protect citizens.

“Sanitation and hygiene contribute greatly to better health. Although Covid – 19 has tested our healthcare practices, we have witnessed a reduction in diseases following an increase in good sanitation practices countrywide,” the CAS said.

In a statement, Mwangangi said Kenya is one of 26 countries in the world responsible for 90 per cent of open defecation, according to a 2017 UNICEF report.

This is as the goal of SDG 6 and the targets of the WASH SDGs call for access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for everyone by 2030.

The Ministry of Health through the WASH Division, Department of Public Health has continuously sensitized, built the capacity of officers, and also spearheaded the development of WASH activities to achieve the goals.

The Ministry says it is currently reviewing its rural sanitation protocols and strategies including, the rural sanitation and hygiene protocol, its implementation guidelines and monitoring framework, and the Sanitation and Hygiene Roadmap.

Also on the upgrade is the real-time monitoring system as a timely tool for monitoring sanitation and hygiene indicators as aligned with the SDG 6.2, Joint Monitoring program, Global Analysis, Assessment Statistics for Sanitation and the new Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Protocol.

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