Regular and effective hand washing is key to avoiding contact with germs and diaeases, the programme manager of Centre for Water and Environment Development (CWED), Doris Zakama, has said.
This is just as she disclosed that statistics has shown that globally, about 2.3 billion people still lack access to basic hand washing facilities.
She stated this during a sensitisation programme carried out at Barakallahu community in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State by CWED, as part of activities to mark the recently celebrated global hand washing day.
LEADERSHIP reports that this year’s Global Handwashing Day was ‘Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together’ and the event is celebrated October 15 every year.
She said the Global Handwashing Day serves as a platform to raise awareness and encourage action around handwashing with soap at a global, regional, and national levels, adding that: “In 2020, Global Handwashing Day reached over one billion people with handwashing messages.
“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and other illnesses continue to put more relevance on the critical role lack of hand hygiene plays in disease transmission, hence the importance of hand washing.”
She, therefore, noted that this year’s theme was a call to action to work collectively and leverage on lessons learned from COVID-19 response to address the historic neglect of hand hygiene in investments, policies, and programmes once and for all.
“As we enter a new normal, the future state of hand hygiene is in our hands. she stressed.
“This is evident by the fact that globally, 2.3 billion people still lack access to a basic handwashing facility. Although the pandemic led to an overall increase in handwashing rates, practices have not increased equally and people living in fragile settings or developing countries have continued to face barriers to hand washing,” Zakama added.
She admonished that all and sundry must ensure that handwashing behaviours are supported and sustained for everyone and everywhere.
As part of the sensitisation, CWED supported households with hand washing products such as soap and hand sanitizers in Kaduna and across five other northern states which include Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States.
The CWED programme officer emphasised that beyond global hand washing day, communities should ensure hand washing stations with soap are accessible and also provide appropriate inclusive behaviour change programming, and advocate for and invest in hand washing to ensure hand hygiene for all.