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58% Nigerians lack access to hygiene facilities –  NGO

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

An NGO, WaterAid Nigeria, has said 58 per cent of the people in Nigeria face the risk of diarrhoea disease because they lack access to basic hygiene facilities.

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It also said no fewer than 60,000 children die every year from diarrhoea because of poor access levels to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, Dr. Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye stated these yesterday at an event to commemorate the 2019 Global Handwashing Day in Abuja.

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“Despite the critical importance of hygiene in healthcare and for improved education outcomes, statistics estimate that 50 percent healthcare facilities lack clean water, 88 percent are without basic sanitation and 57 percent lack handwashing with soap,” she added.

According to her, the latest statistics collated from UNICEF and WHO indicate the need for government at all levels to make hygiene a national priority.

Also speaking, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, reiterated the federal government’s readiness to inaugurate the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign on November 19, as part of efforts towards ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

In his goodwill message, Mr. Syed Tanzim Rezwan, the Marketing Director of Reckitt Benckiser (RB) West Africa, makers of Dettol antibacterial products, tasked Nigerians on cleanliness and good hygiene.

He said the organisation had carried out a number of programs committed to tackling health and hygiene issues, especially the School Hygiene Program, through which it has educated over seven million children on proper hand hygiene habits.

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“Also, with the New Mum’s Program, RB, has educated over five million pregnant and new mothers on hygienic practices to protect them during the pre- and post- phases of their pregnancies,” Rezwan said.

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