National Coordinator,WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION COLLABORATIVE COUNCIL (WSSCC) in Nigeria Dr Priscilla Achakpa has reiterated the benefits and importance of handwashing stations to the overall well-being of the citizens particularly in the public places.
Achakpa stated that building standard hand washing points in schools, public offices, bus stations amongst others for the citizens would reduce the spread of diseases by 85 percent in the Nigeria.
She stated this in a press statement released to commemorate the Global Hand washing Day 2018 in Abuja yesterday.
According to her “As we celebrate the 2018 Global Handwashing Day and I bring you greetings from the Co-Chairs and Management of WSSCC”
“WSSCC is a UN membership organization that advocates for improved sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable and marginalized people around the world. WSSCC facilitates multi-stakeholder collaboration around sanitation and hygiene and also contributes to the international community broaden goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement, gender equality and long-term social and economic development” she remarked
She described Global Handwashing Day as a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of Handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases.
“This year, the Global Handwashing Day theme focuses on the links between Handwashing and food – including food hygiene and nutrition”.
“Handwashing is an important part of keeping food safe, preventing diseases, and helping children grow strong. Our tagline,” Clean hands – a recipe for health”, reminds us to make Handwashing a part of every meal. Wash your hands with soap at critical times, especially before and after cooking, eating, or feeding others. Handwashing not only helps people improve their health, but also removes barriers to economic opportunity, allows children to learn and grow and helps strengthen communities welbeing”.
“Over 59,000 children under the age of five die annually in Nigeria from diarrheal diseases attributed to poor water and sanitation and about 33% of children under 5 years are stunted(WASH Watch).”
“According to the UNICEF/WHO joint monitoring programme report 87% of Nigerians do not have access to Handwashing facilities with soap and water. Also globally 272 million school days are missed due to diarrhea, infection each year (UNICEF, 2010). Therefore, cultivating a good Handwashing habit can help keep students healthy, ready to learn and can also help combat under nutrition.”
“In meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6 for Water and Sanitation, Handwashing with soap and water is an essential factor.”
“Target 6.2 seeks to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the need of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”
“And one of the indicators for this target is the percentage of the population having access to Handwashing facilities at home. Because this contributes to other SDGs on zero hunger, child survival, nutrition, good health, quality education, gender, equity and more.”
“The absence of WASH facilities including Handwashing stations, in schools, healthcare facilities, and public institutions, is an equity issue for girls and women, particularly during their menstruation and for menstrual hygiene management” she said
She added that the availability of Handwashing stations can stop the spread of diseases in these settings. Handwashing is a choice that we need to make multiple times a day.
“When we choose hand washing we are choosing to create a healthier environment and not only for ourselves but also for those around us.”
“I therefore commended our collaborative efforts to create this awareness and enjoin us all, to always remember to use this key recipe for health and be advocates for making Handwashing a daily habit as we celebrate the 2018 Handwashing day.” said Achakpa.