By Chioma Obinna
AS Nigeria battles with outbreak of meningitis and Lassa fever, the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMoH) and Lagos State Ministry of Environment (LSMoE), teamed up with leading hygiene solution brand, Hypo, to sensitise the public on household and environment hygiene as a preventive measure against diseases.
The exercise tagged: “Team Up to Clean UP” which was part of activities to mark this year’s World Health Day, had the management of Hypo, representatives of the LSMoH and LSMoE, as well as residents of Ebute Metta and its environs, participate in the clean up exercise as they cleared the streets and drainages in the community to enhance their wellbeing.
A recent report by the World Health Organisation estimated that 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly one quarter of total global deaths. The Report, titled: “Preventing disease through healthy environments” further found that these deaths could be prevented through better environmental management.
In a chat with Features Health & Living during the exercise, Jadesola Surakat, Brand Manager, Hypo said the campaign which is the secoond in series, was primarily aimed at fulfilling the corporate social responsibility Hypo has towards the society and repositioning the brand from the perceived state of just a whitening agent to a total hygiene solution.
“If a place is dirty, insects could carry the diseases and infect everyone. Also if the water system is not clean, diseases can easily spread. Although there are a lot of factors that could be involve in the spreading of diseases, the environment is one of the major factors to be taken into consideration,” she added.
The Assistant Director, Health Education Unit, LSMoH, Mrs. Olubunmi Ilawole said: ““When the drainages are not flowing, it tends to generate more dirt and bacteria breed in them and we have more water borne diseases,” she added.
The Head, Waste Management Division, Environmental Services Department, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Tolu Adeyo, said unhealthy and dirty environment contribute to spread of diseases, adding that with Lagos State having the highest population of over 22 million people, there is bound to be more refuse, which is why the ministry is teaming up with projects that would sensitise people on the need to keep their environment clean.