What you need to know:
- According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), spraying can be ineffective and the chemicals are dangerous.
- Additionally, the chemicals can irritate the digestive tract, cause cancer and can generate air pollution.
A video clip showing schoolgirls being fumigated as they reported back to school on Monday has sparked an uproar among Kenyans.
The clip, shared on social media, showed schoolgirls dressed in uniform getting sprayed by a man who had mounted a knapsack sprayer commonly used for pest and disease control.
The unidentified school took the shocking step despite the government banning spraying disinfectants or chemicals on people through booths or tunnels.
According to Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth, such spraying poses health risks and does not eliminate Covid-19.
In June, Dr Amoth said the chemicals are not designed for use on human bodies and could be dangerous for those with respiratory problems and allergies.
In the viral clip, the girls were sprayed with the chemical intended to disinfect them as learning resumed.
The Ministry of Education ordered re-opening of schools on Monday after a seven-month closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry allowed learners in Grade 4, Standard 8 and Form 4 to report back to school for physical learning, as parents await communication on when other classes will resume.
The schools were re-opened under tough measures to tame the virus, including social distancing in class, wearing face masks, and having water at designated points for washing hands.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), spraying can be ineffective and the chemicals are dangerous.
“This could be physically and psychologically harmful and will not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact,” WHO said in a document.
Spraying chlorine or other toxic chemicals on people also can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and mouth and the respiratory tract., it adds.
Additionally, the chemicals can irritate the digestive tract, cause cancer and can generate air pollution.
WHO advises that if disinfectants are to be applied, it should be done with a cloth that has been soaked in a disinfectant.
A number of netizens reacted to the video by calling out the school for exposing the girls to inhuman treatment in the name of their disinfection.