WaterAid Nigeria has urged the federal government to prioritise hygiene in national policies and improve access to inclusive handwashing services so no one is left behind in commemoration of the Global Handwashing Day.
in a press statement issued in Abuja by the Communications Officer , Blessing Sani said the simple act of handwashing with soap and water can prevent the spread of diseases and reduce cases of diarrhoea by almost half.
The theme for this years’ programme is: “Clean Hands for All.”
According to her, the statistics collated by UNICEF and WHO, found that around the world, three billion people (40%) lacked somewhere to wash their hands with soap and water.
She said this is the first time data on access to hygiene services has been included alongside access to water and sanitation – a clear indication of the need to make hygiene a national and global priority.
She said despite the critical importance of hygiene in healthcare and for improved education outcomes, statistics estimate that 50% of healthcare facilities lack clean water, 88% are without basic sanitation and 57% lack hand-washing facilities with soap.
“Similarly, 72.4% of schools in Nigeria lack handwashing facilities (NBS 2018) and as a result, diarrhoeal diseases linked to the nation’s poor access levels to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) claim the lives of 60,000 children every year,” she said.