WaterAid Nigeria has said that about 167 million Nigerian do not have basic handwashing facilities available on premises with water and soap.
“Frequent handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of Covid-19. Without this frontline defence, the risk of the virus spreading in communities is greater”.
WaterAid Nigeria in a statement on Global Handwashing Day signed by its communication and media manager, Oluseyi Abdulmalik said in Nigeria only 7% of healthcare facilities have combined water, sanitation and hygiene access.
Oluseyi expressed regret that healthcare workers are staring down the disease without the facilities needed to protect themselves and their patients
According to WaterAid, less than 1% of the funding for responding to Covid-19 has been invested in scaling up access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
“To make matters worse, in Nigeria, 90% of schools do not have basic handwashing facilities with soap and water, leaving children vulnerable not only to Covid-19 but also to other infectious diseases.”
On Global Handwashing Day, WaterAid Nigeria called on the government to double its investment in clean water and hygiene to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and save lives. Photo credit
WaterAid gave the 2020 Global Handwashing Day theme as ‘Hand Hygiene for All’, which is a call to action to make hand hygiene a reality for all. “The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the critical role hand hygiene plays in disease transmission and provides a stark reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a virus is hand hygiene through handwashing with soap.
“To beat the virus today and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, handwashing with soap must be a priority now and in the future.”
The theme, explained, reminds the people of the need to take immediate action on hand hygiene across all public and private settings to respond and control the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Access to water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental to improving lives, health, livelihoods, gender equality, education outcomes and for driving economic and sustainable development”. WaterAid said