On Friday, October 26, 2018, Community Excellence and Development Initiative (CEDI) organized a sensitization workshop to promote “WASH” at Junior Secondary School, Aleyita. The event had in attendance over 250 participants.
According to research over one million people around the world die each year from diseases caused by a lack of safe water and sanitation, with most of these deaths recorded in developing countries like Nigeria. Poor sanitation and unsafe water causes nearly 20% of workplace deaths and costs around $260 billion in lost productivity every year.
The workshop supports the efforts of key stakeholders especially the international community to scale up access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools as it holds potential for impact towards all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG 3 and 6 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages as well as ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all).
CEDI choose to sensitize the school as children spend long hours in school, and the physical environment and cleanliness of educational facilities significantly determine their health and well-being. Too often, schools are places where children get infected. More than 40 per cent of diarrhea cases in school children result from transmission in schools rather than homes. Diseases spread faster where many children gather for many hours a day in cramped spaces with limited ventilation, unsanitary conditions, no handwashing facilities or soap, and toilets in poor condition. The impact of poor sanitation, poor water quality and supply, and inappropriate hygienic behaviour is known to be disastrous for infants and young children and has a terrible impact on the health of school-aged children. This should not be normal as good water, sanitation and hygiene can reduce sickness by as much as 45%.
The Executive Director of CEDI, Mr. Israel Ozovehe O. in his welcome address acknowledged the efforts of various partners and stakeholders in promoting WASH activities in schools. He stated that CEDI is promoting WASH in schools because schools have an important role in protecting children and their families from disease and illness due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. More so, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), 88% of diarrhea disease is attributed to unsafe water supply, inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Hygiene interventions including hygiene education and promotion of hand washing can lead to a reduction of diarrhea cases by up to 45%. The provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in educational institutions is a key intervention to promote student’s right to health and clean environment. He urged all teachers and students to practice good hygiene behaviours and teach their families and friends what they have learnt as this will help change attitudes and establish good hygiene for generation to come.
The Principal, Junior Secondary School, Aleyita, Mrs Abdullahi Toyin O. in her remark appreciated CEDI for recognizing the need for WASH in her school. She told the students to listen attentively to the lecture on WASH and imbibe the culture of handwashing as “dirt causes death”. She ended her remark by wishing CEDI the greatest height in her interventions and urged CEDI to provide hand washing stations for her school.
The Chief Executive of ZAFTA-MED Clinic and Maternity, Matron, Nurse Mid-wife, Salako Medinat in sensitizing the teachers and students advised them to practice good hygienic behaviour so as to reduce the risk of diarrhea, cholera, Hepatitis E and other hygiene-related diseases as well as increase their school attendance and learning achievement. She laid emphasis on the need to maintain proper hygiene.
The Director, Gender and Social Development at CEDI, Bar. (Mrs.) Gatta Tokunbo in her closing remark appreciated all participants and urged them to keep spreading the gospel of WASH to everyone they come in contact with. She re-emphasized that CEDI will continue to support and partner with other stakeholders to actualize the WASH goal.