Did you know that every year more than 60,000 children under the age of 5 die of diarrhea? (Water Aid 2018). Did you also know that many of these deaths are preventable with proper hand washing practices?
The new children’s picture book by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, Why Do You Wash Your Hands? is targeted at promoting the importance of hand washing amongst children, parents, teachers and families.
Global Hand Washing Day is usually marked in the month of October to promote the simple hygienic practice of washing hands with soap and water, in a bid to curb the spread of communicable diseases typically passed from one person to the next via hands, such as chicken pox, diarrhea, and so on.
According to the UNICEF, hand washing with soap has been cited as one of the most cost-effective interventions to prevent diarrheal-related deaths and other diseases. For Talabi, this is a major reason why the book was written. “Why Do You Wash Your Hands was written for children under the age of 9. It deploys a fun and pictorial style to help children and their parents understand the importance of regular hand washing and learn the different occasions before or after which they should wash their hands” she says.
She further reveals that the book is in line with the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This is to “raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation.”
“The book is not only being launched in the month of Global Hand Washing Day, but comes in a compendium version that makes it the first indigenous Nigerian children’s picture book to be published simultaneously in four different languages – English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba,” Talabi further added.
According to Clever Clogs Books, the compendium version in four languages is a limited edition, single print, collector’s item. Readers and book collectors can get their hands on it at the book launch on the 26 October 2019 in Lagos.