Nigerian nurses set to take handwashing campaign to schools



Nurses across the country are set to carry out a 60-day nationwide school health, hygiene and handwashing advocacy campaign following reopening of schools.

The Team Lead of the campaign, Mr Josiah Jackson-Okesola, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos that the campaign would kick off on Oct. 15.

Jackson-Okesola said this was to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

He said the campaign was in commemoration of the 2020 Global Handwashing Day marked annually on every Oct.15.

Jackson-Okesola is currently coordinating a global nursing campaign spearheaded by the International Council of Nurses, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Nigerian nurse leaders will be leading nurses, midwives and public health nurses across the country to carry out an advocacy campaign on handwashing.

“Also, nurses will advocate general hygiene in schools primarily as public health support for parents, teachers and school owners, who are currently working hard to protect their young ones from contacting Covid-19.

“Aside physical distancing and other precautions, handwashing is still the most efficient way of protecting everyone from dangers of COVID-19.

“This is even more crucial as young children are returning to schools with a few reported cases of flu being witnessed by nurses.

“Children are very great advocates, hence, we hope that they will take the messages being passed by our health experts and specialists during our visit to their parents at homes,” he said.

The team lead said that the campaign would also be in honour of the late Mrs Justina Ejelonu, a pregnant nurse, who died on her first day at work from contact with the Ebola index case.

Jackson-Okesola said: “During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Nigerian nurse volunteers commenced a national hand hygiene campaign and nursing advocacy drive, “Keep Our Schools Safe from Ebola (KOSSE).

“It was in honor of Ejelonu, the pregnant nurse heroine, who died on her first day at work, from contact with the Ebola index case in Nigeria.

“Since then, the nurse-led event has not only been held annually on every Global Handwashing Day.

“It has also been established as a school health tour programme where young children and school staff are trained on hand hygiene and empowered with life saving health education.”

He said that the targeted kick-off states for the campaign include: FCT, Abuja; Lagos; Taraba; Cross River; Enugu and Abia.

According to him, the scheduled activities include: school hygiene, handwashing demonstrations and health talks for school children, teachers and parents.

“Others include: COVID-19 prevention training for teachers, educators and school administrators; erection and donation of handwashing stations for schools in the vulnerable communities.

“Others are establishment of hygiene clubs and donation of hygiene promoting materials to schools in vulnerable communities,” Okesola said.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
Source: NAN

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