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9 out of 10 schools in Nigeria have no hand-washing facility for children – UNICEF

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9 out of 10 schools in Nigeria have no hand-washing facility for children – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says nine out of ten schools in Nigeria do not have a place for children to wash their hands.

This, according to the international organization, indicates a downward trend in the fight against infectious diseases.

UNICEF said this in a statement released Friday in Abuja to mark “Global Handwashing Day” 2021 celebrated annually on October 15.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Our Future is Close at Hand – Moving Forward Together”.

The theme was chosen in recognition of the global movement promoting handwashing as a key to preventing transmission of COVID-19 and the need to continue the momentum after the pandemic.

UNICEF said that in 2018, only 21% of Nigerians had access to basic hand washing facilities at home, adding that this figure had fallen to 16% in 2019.

“Four out of ten schools in the world do not have basic hygiene services with soap and water, affecting 818 million students of whom 462 million attend schools without any facilities.

“In Nigeria, nine out of ten schools do not have a place where children can wash their hands.

“In Nigeria too, 21% of Nigerians had access to basic hand washing facilities at home in 2018, up from 16% in 2019, indicating a worrying downward trend.

“Global response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic have created an unprecedented time for hand hygiene, but progress remains far too slow for the most vulnerable and underserved communities,” UNICEF said.

He said that although handwashing with soap remains essential in the fight against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, only 16% of Nigerians have access to basic hand washing facilities at home. .

According to UNICEF, this leaves families and communities exposed to many infectious diseases with particularly vulnerable children.

“The latest global estimates indicate that three in ten people, or about 2.3 billion people, do not have access to basic facilities for washing their hands with soap and water at home.

“These include 670 million people around the world who have no facilities at all.

“In the least developed countries, more than six in ten people do not have basic hand hygiene facilities at home.

“One in three healthcare facilities around the world do not have hand hygiene facilities at points of care where the patient, healthcare worker and treatment involve patient contact.

UNICEF said that in Nigeria the figure was four out of five health facilities.

He said that despite the downward trend seen in 2018 and 2019, some progress has been made globally since 2015 in access to basic hand hygiene at home.

UNICEF said that during the reporting period, basic hand hygiene at home increased from $ 5 billion to $ 5.5 billion.

He said, however, that if slow progress continued, 1.9 billion people would still not have access to basic hand hygiene by the end of the decade.

The agency called on the public not to view hand hygiene as a temporary arrangement to deal with COVID-19, but to make it a habit.

UNICEF also called for more investment in water, sanitation and hygiene to help prevent the onset of any major health crisis in Nigeria, as well as in other parts of the world.

He said investing in these facilities would ensure that fewer people get sick from respiratory infections and fewer children die from diarrheal diseases.

UNICEF said it would also mean more pregnant mothers and newborns will be protected from preventable diseases like sepsis.

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