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Raising youth awareness around health and sanitation issues

Raising youth awareness around health and sanitation issues

Youth, keep yourself clean; it reflects the place you live”. That was the main message the peer educators have delivered recently during the awareness-raising activity they have carried out at the URBANATIC Analamahitsy where young people have been invited to participate in a cultural and sporting event.

Issues around health and sanitation have been identified as one of the root causes of neglected diseases affecting young people in Madagascar, in urban as well as rural areas. Sanitation conditions in which young people live favour the spread of diseases such as diarrhea and skin disease.

The fact is, not only youth are the living in dirty places – no garbage disposal, lack in the management of waste-water – but also many of them do not take care of their personal hygiene due to lack of water supply or because of unhealthy lifestyle and habits. However, young people are not aware of the consequences of these sanitation conditions on their health.

“Clean people, clean place of living; Healthy people”. Through this message, the youth called upon their peers’ awareness on the adoption of healthy habits, as simple as washing their hands using clean water and soap, using garbage disposals and keeping their environment clean.

The awareness-raising activity was not only educational but also recreational for the youth. Basketball, Zumba, dance performances – the peer educators had prepared a day full of pleasant activities so as to create a friendly atmosphere favourable for effective campaign.

During this activity, the video clip “Manatona dokotera” – the video clip made within the framework of the nationwide media campaign – has been shown. The message deliverd through the video is about encouraging the youth to take of their health and to go to healthcare centres.

The Africa Alliance of YMCAs (AAYMCA) is a leading pan African youth development network on the continent, representing national movements in 20 countries, 16 of which are very active. The first YMCA in Africa was established in Liberia in 1881, and the AAYMCA was founded in 1977 as the umbrella body for all national movements on the continent. www.africaymca.org or https://www.facebook.com/AfricaYMCA

By Miray Razanajatovo, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, YMCA Madagascar

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