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UNICEF tasks Nigerians on hand washing

…says clean hands saves lives

By Chioma Obinna

United Nation Education Fund (UNICEF) has drawn attention of Nigerians to the life-saving importance of hand washing with soap, ash and water saying, “simple hand washing can halve incidences of diarrhoea among children under five.”

Making this call in Abuja as part of activities to mark this year’s Global Hand washing Day, Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Suomi Sakaai said simple acts of washing hands with soap or ash and water, particularly at critical moments, including after using the toilet and before handing food can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea among children under five by almost half.

According to him, “In Nigeria, diarrhoea is the cause of some 194,000 deaths of children under five every year, which is the second highest in the world, after India.

“Hand washing is simple, powerful, and everybody can do it. Every time you wash your hands at a restaurant, school, home or work, you may be saving a life, your own or someone else’s. “But we have to do it every day of the year not just on Global Hand washing Day.”

In Nigeria, UNICEF provides water and sanitation facilities as well as hygiene education support to schools and communities around the country with assistance from European Union and UK Government.

Today UNICEF celebrates Global Hand washing Day and is supporting hand washing campaigns in schools and other forums in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry off Water Resources, members of the National Task Group on Sanitation and other partners. Every person can save a life: wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating—even before breast feeding.


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