Germ Busters visit EL schools

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Domestos spreads hygienic habits

THE hygiene education programme called the Domestos Germ Busters Club has been successfully implemented in six schools in and around the East London area.

HYGIENE AMBASSADORS: Pupils from Isu’lihle Primary School in Soweto, Johannesburg practise hygienic bathroom habits taught and encouraged by the Domestos Germ Busters Club team

Started in 2015 by the Domestos team, the hygiene education programme is implemented in primary schools over a 21-day period, whereby Grade 7 pupils are taught to practise healthy and hygienic bathroom habits.

The Germ Busters Club team’s school visits also aims to empower parents with toilet-cleaning skills and children with toilet etiquette.

“The programme runs for 21 days because it has been scientifically proven that it takes at least 21 days of learning and practising a habit, to entrench it as part of your routine and have lasting behaviour change,” Domestos senior brand manager Ant Borstlap said.

As a national campaign, the programme has seen more than 500000 pupils across South Africa taking a stand against germs at their schools.

Over the past two years, the Domestos Germ Busters Club has impacted 660 schools around the country by focusing on creating safe, germ-free environments.

The programme also engages pupils in a fun and exciting way, by using a comic book with a super hero, known as Captain Domestos as well as song and dance.

“We try to ensure pupils are interested in learning the habits and remember the message better. Through the programme, pupils also become hygiene ambassadors in that they are encouraged to spread the sanitation and hygiene message to their families, neighbours and broader communities,” Borstlap said.

The six schools in and around East London that have taken part in the Domestos Germ Busters Club, include Lukhanyo, Nontuthuzelo, Pefferville, Inyathi, Duncan Village and Nompumelelo primary schools.

“At first we were slightly sceptical, but the Domestos Germ Busters’ methods and detergents have really improved the hygiene at our school,” Pefferville Primary School principal Mason Mackay said.

The school caters to 1357 pupils and there are two workers employed to clean and maintain the bathrooms.

“I have found that the materials we used before were much too diluted and didn’t last very long. Domestos keeps our toilets fresh and clean for longer, and the methods we’ve been taught work much better,” Mackay said.

Borstlap explained how the care of sanitation facilities is often taken for granted and as a result, absenteeism in schools increases as there is a lack of proper hygiene.

“This is important, as Unicef [The United Nations International Children’s Fund] has revealed that more than 40% of diarrhoea cases in school-going children result from transmission in schools rather than homes,” Borstlap said.

For more information on the campaign, contact Tonie Jere at 082-866-3369 or tonie.jere@ogilvypr.co.za

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