The Federal Government has called on state water agencies to take ownership and manage all water facilities, to promote sustainability and end loss of investments, especially in rural areas.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu made the call at the opening of a one-day Sensitisation Workshop on the implementation of the National Village Level Operation and Maintenance (VLOM) strategy in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adamu was represented by Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation in the ministry.
He said poor maintenance of water facilities, weak institutional management and inadequate monitoring, resulted to frequent breakdown and abandonment in the country.
Adamu also said that poor communication between benefiting communities and state water agencies hampered sustainability.
The minister said that the strategy was intended to address the challenges of putting facility ownership in the hands of the communities.
The 2021 Water Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASHNORM) survey revealed that, only 53 per cent of publicly owned water facilities are functional.
The survey also reports that 22 per cent of the publicly owned water facilities broke down within the first one year of installation.
“The VLOM strategy will establish and create communication channels where benefiting communities can report the status of water facility to those in authority and building the capacity of Local Area Mechanics (LAMs).
“The objective will be achieving 100 per cent functionality in line with the Sustainable Development Goal,“he said.
He said that evidence showed that the operationalisation of National VLOM strategy was one sure way to improve access to water supply in rural areas.
The minister said that the ministry in collaboration with UNICEF, has commenced the operationalisation of VLOM strategy in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. He said successes recorded includes; the repair of 758 hand pump and 344 solar boreholes by local area mechanics in the communities.
Ms. Jane Bevan, UNICEF Chief of WASH, said that the public health benefits of access to potable water could not be quantified.
Bevan said sustainability of water facilities entailed that there were permanent and beneficial change in WASH services.
She said it was worrisome that a quarter of all public water facilities were not functional.
Bevan said through UNICEF interventions, 30 per cent of benefiting communities have put in place tariff system as a funding alternative for local area mechanics repairing broken facilities to the tune of N3 million.
She said the intervention had seen female representation in WASH activities, with women participating in repairs and spare part supplies.
“Our belief is that boreholes should never breakdown, and the sector-wide sustainability index emphasises functionality, accessibility and water quality,” she said.
Mr Danjuma Madaki, Director, Water Supply with the ministry, said the workshop was an opportunity for states to understand VLOM strategy and its implementation guidelines.
He said all communities must take ownership of all water facilities for sustainability.
Madaki said huge investments in the water resources sector had not yielded returns due to poor institutional management, inadequate funding and lack of political will and ownership.
He, however, said with the implementation of VLOM strategy, operation and maintenance challenges, funding issues would be addressed.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has called for co-operation among Nigeria’s water, energy and food security sectors towards addressing all challenges hindering socio-economic development.
Adamu made the call on Tuesday at the opening of a three-day Inter-Sectoral Policy National Dialogue on “the Nexus of Water -Energy-Food Security” held in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and German International Cooperation (GiZ).
He said mismanagement of one sector could affect the viability of other sectors and compromise the livelihoods of the people and the ecosystem.
Adamu, represented by the Director, Water Quality and Sanitation, Mr Emmanuel Awe said the nexus approach reflected the interlink between Water, Energy, Food Security and Environment.
He expressed the need to integrate all sectors towards promoting positive impact, socio -economic development and management of resources.
Adamu said increasing activities due to urbanisation, agriculture and industrialisation, had resulted in the pollution of fresh water with serious adverse effects on health and wellbeing.
While expressing the Federal Government’s gratitude to the NBA and experts, he urged all participants to show more commitment for effective and efficient implementation of all NBA projects and programmes.
Regional Coordinator, Nexus GIZ and EU, Robert Kronefield and NBA representative, Bamidele Olatunji, said the workshop would strengthen stakeholders’ capacity in planning, policy development and implementation of the NEXUS approach.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the first phase of the NBA and German Cooperation (NBA-GIZ) NEXUS Project (2016-2020) placed strong emphasis on regional integration of the NEXUS approach and capacity building.
The NEXUS project takes an integrated view of the water, energy and agriculture sectors, as these are all competing for the same scarce resources.
It allows an optimal balance of interests in the use of resources, manage conflicts and human rights risks appropriately, and respect the limits of the planet’s ecological resilience.
By Tosin Kolade
The Federal Government has identified Kwara and Plateau as the states with the highest population in open defecation.
The Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Emmanuel Awe, disclosed this at the 2021 First Quarter Lunch Time Seminar for Media Executives in Abuja.
He called for concerted efforts from all Nigerians to do more towards ending open defecation practice.
Awe said the ministry has inaugurated 77,400 Youth volunteers to act as hygiene ambassadors towards scaling up sanitation and hygiene in the country.
He said that the data was gotten from the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping Survey (WASH-NORM), launched in 2018 to fill the chronic gaps in monitoring and routine assessment of the status of the WASH services in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria still ranks the highest country with the highest number of persons defecating openly, saying no fewer than N455 billion was lost annually to poor sanitation.
Awe said that if the country could invest more in sanitation infrastructure, there would be sustainable ways of safe disposal of wastes, business opportunities and improved productivity for all.
He said that the impact of poor sanitation was seen in underdevelopment of children, loss of manpower, low socioeconomic development, among others.
The director identified open defecation as a major contributor to rising cases of kidnapping and sexual violence, noting that this could occur as a result of searching for convenient places to answer the call of nature.
“Open defecation contributes to rape and kidnapping cases that we hear about lately, we want everyone to take ownership of building and using their toilets at all times.”
Mr Benson Ajisegiri, Director, Water Supply with the ministry, said the ministry was working to improve access to potable water through the Partnership for Expanded Water Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme.
This, he noted would see how to improve capacity, repair broken down schemes, saying strengthening sector infrastructure was critical to changing poor narrative of state water agencies.
Ajisegiri added that through the PEWASH interventions, 25 states have declared state of emergency in the water and sanitation sector, adding that this has seen more commitment towards improving access to potable water in the country. (NAN)(NAN)
The Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), says it has trained hundreds of its members on budget tracking and holding tiers of government accountable toward improved access to potable water and sanitation in the country.
The National Coordinator, Mr Benson Attah, stated this at the workshop in Abuja on Tuesday.
Attah said it was important for its members to contribute their quota in holding levels of governments accountable in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
According to him, building the capacity of its members would strengthen partnerships in the implementation of water and sanitation projects across the country.
He said it was also important for states CSOs to monitor governance and also find legal backing for WASH interventions and formulation of state road-maps for ending open defecation practices in their localities.
“We have come to realise that part of the factors contributing to the poor implementation of the water and sanitation targets are as a result of accountability at both the federal, states and local government levels.
“Going by situations we see, we have been to states and local government councils and see projects carried out to the benefit of the community. We have seen instances where borehole were sank and they had to use water tanker to fill the overhead tank for its commissioning.
“Some projects were commissioned using inferior materials and immediately they finished, the water tower collapsed, and such communities never benefited from such commissioning.
“We have seen cases where contractors were given money to build sanitation facilities, toilets in schools and they were not completed and left abandoned with open-suck away pits”.
He noted that these issues further contributed to the underdevelopment of the citizens, adding that water and sanitation were an entry point to development, health, education, commerce among others.
While commending its partners, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) for supporting its activities, Attah said lack of transparency at different levels, limits the extent to which partners can hold each other to account for mutual commitments.
He said there was the need for the three tier of governments to see that access to water and sanitation were improved upon, adding that stakeholders ought not to compromise in achieving better livelihood for the populace.
Earlier, Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, noted that it was worrisome that only 11 per cent of the population had access to (WASH) services nationwide.
Awe said although the Federal Government had demonstrated high political will to improve access to WASH facilities through it’s numerous programmes, noting that more needs to be done in the states if Nigeria is ready to meet its targets.
“Financing to eliminate inequalities in the sector required putting money where it matters the most, and financing for services which address inequalities must be specifically budgeted and monitored.
“Political and financial rescuing makers are often unaware of the fundamental importance of WASH improvements, which has led to failures in honouring commitments on counterpart funding or signed agreements,” he said.
He pledged the commitment of the federal government to continue to support NEWSAN and in achieving the Open Defecation- after target by 2025.
Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol, National Coordinator, WSSCC Nigeria, said it was imperative that a sustainable system be instituted and supported by the government to encourage CSO engagement for effective WASH governance, saying without governance, WASH services remain unsustainable.
“CSOs need platforms to build capacity and resources to carry out crucial role by holding policymakers accountable and ensuring that budgets are spent and policies are formulated within the right context and sustainability.
“We call on governments to create enabling environment to support and engage CSOs in policy formulation, through access to state structures for citizen participation and attainment of SDGs targets in Nigeria.
“I therefore commend the federal government especially the Ministry of Water Resources and other key stakeholders and partners for the progress so far made in the WASH sector in recent years,” he added.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday performed the virtual inauguration of the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign.”
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement, said the vice president is the chairman of the committee.
The virtual inauguration was anchored from the Presidential Villa.
The Federal Government is expanding access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities being one of Nigeria’s most effective weapons against infectious diseases as efforts are being ramped up to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was attended by members of the committee drawn from the Federal Executive Council, states, local government areas, civil society ogranisations and the organised private sector.
“We are embarking upon this initiative at a most auspicious time; as our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that expanding access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities is our most effective weapon against the scourge of infectious diseases.
“Ensuring the provision of adequate WASH facilities in our communities is the cornerstone of our efforts to strengthen the resilience of our public health structures beyond the present challenge of COVID-19.
“This is the basis of our commitment to ending open defecation and more broadly to raising the standards in the WASH sector,” he said.
Osinbajo spoke on the progress made since the adoption and implementation of the national road map for WASH in 2016.
He said that more local governments across the country had so far been certified as Open Defecation Free according to the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol.
“The key objectives of this effort include the implementation of a campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
“This will involve mobilising support and resources (i) at the highest political level and (ii) within the private sector, the communities and from development partners.”
The vice president said that the campaign on sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria would create a pool of resource persons to support local actors to implement this nationwide transformational sanitation agenda.
According to him, thecampaign will mobilise various strata of the society to imbibe a new culture of safe sanitation through behavioural change communication and advocacy strategies.
He said mechanisms for tracking progress and sharing knowledge and lessons learnt would be established.
On the terms of reference for the steering committee, Osinbajo said the group would meet bi-annually to, among other things, provide strategic oversight to the implementation of the Clean Nigeria Campaign.
“The committee will oversee and advise on the implementation and strategic orientation proposed by the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to execute the campaign.
“Facilitate maximum synergy between the Clean Nigeria Secretariat and other relevant government agencies including security and law enforcement agencies and stakeholders towards meeting the campaign objectives.
“Facilitate access of the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to technical and financial resources for effective implementation of the campaign.
“Receive and review progress reports of implementation of the campaign.
“Ensure that results of the campaign monitoring outcomes are well communicated to all stakeholders.’’
The vice president commended the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other partners.
He lauded them for their engagements towards achieving the campaign objectives as approved by the Federal Executive Council and in line with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for Water and Sanitisation.
Members of the committee include the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Bello Mandiya and Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli.
Also in the committee are the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paulen Tallen, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mohammed Bello.
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Garba Abari, SSA to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, Representative of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and Representative of Organised Private Sector in WASH (OPSWASH), Dr Nicholas Igwe.
Others are Representatives of Network of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, Mr Benson Attah and Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Emmanuel Awe.
The Special Assistant to the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Taoheed Amusan, is also a member of the committee.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has declared seven local government areas in Katsina and Benue states Open-Defecation-Free (ODF), having met the requirement slated in the ODF protocol for hygiene promotion.
Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director, Water Quality Supply and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, declared the areas ODF on Thursday after it met the stipulated requirement.
The areas include: Bakori, Musawa, Matazu, Safana and Sandamu LGAs in Katsina while Oju and Konshisha LGAs in Benue respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that before attaining the ODF status, communities would have eliminated open defecation and imbibed total sanitation practices, which include personal, environmental and domestic hygiene.
The communities would have also had 100 per cent toilet use and increased ownership and sustainability of hygiene and sanitation services.
According to him, these achievement earns the country a total of 27 LGAs as at May 28, 2020.
“The states had also recommended that the National Task Group on Sanitation to validate their status, and we have considered the report of the committee who went on validation.
“I urge all stakeholders to continue with these accomplishments and aspire to end open defecation practice in the country”.
Awe said the benefits of access to improved WASH, especially of living in an open defecation free environments, impacts on education, health, security and socioeconomic wellbeing of the people.
While commending efforts of development partners in scaling up access to improved hygiene, the director, urged the members of ODF community to remain steadfast to promote sustainable development.
He said it was unfortunate that Nigeria found herself on the top of the ladder of countries with the highest number of people practicing open defecation, second behind India and the first in Africa.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Dr Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Secretary, African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), has
called for the harmonisation of sanitation policies to accelerate sanitation progress in the region.
Kanagire told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja that using the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) would be a strategic tool to address the challenges within the 55 countries and the issues in the environment.
According to him, the ongoing country consultations are an opportunity to influence the content of the ASPG to provide guidance to countries on what is an ideal sanitation policy.
NAN reports that the ASPG is an initiative to strengthen the enabling environment for sanitation in Africa; trigger and guide for reforms needed to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) six.
He said he had been mandated by the African Union to provide leadership, policy direction and advocacy on the management and development of water resources; this includes the provision of sanitation services.
Kanagire said that the mandate was given mainly for the purpose of good services by the horizon of 2025, which was the African Water Vision deadline.
“When we look at sanitation, one of the issues we noticed is that most African countries are still working on policies guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) objectives and target, yet the MDGs was evaluated in 2015.
“Now, we have moved to the SDGs which were targeted at having the number of people who are not accessing different basic services, the SDGs are even more ambitious because it targets everyone, we should leave no one behind.
“So, the policy that we are promoting today should be the one with the right target, with the right objectives and because of that, they should develop the needed factors that will ensure that they succeed.”
Kanagire said that those factors should be targeted at the right institutions, the right mechanism, finance, capacity and others, stressing that there was need to work toward that objective.
In a related development, Mr Emmanuel Awe, the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources commended the Nigerian government’s efforts in the area of sanitation.
Awe said a number of sanitation policies existed presently which the government had decided to harmonise, adding that very soon all the policies existing in the different ministries would be harmonised into a single document.
He said that would allow all development partners and other agencies to have access and they would know exactly where to intervene.
“We believe this will help us in the harmonisation of policies so that the needed action can be inputted into the newly harmonised policy,” Awe said.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Grace Yussuf
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources says it is concerned that majority of Nigerians are still exposed to unsafe and contaminated water.
Mr Emmanuel Awe, the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation in the ministry, said this on Tuesday in Enugu during a workshop on Water Safety Plan (WSP) for states in the South East.
Awe was represented by the Deputy Director, Water Quality Surveillance, Mrs Rukayyah Bako.
The director said that available statistics were not favourable to the country’s quest of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a standalone Goal 6 for water and sanitation.
He said that it had become imperative for all water service providers including state water agencies and community water committees to develop a WSP in their drinking water supply system.
“This will ensure the minimisation or complete eradication of contamination across the water service delivery chain.
“We are also aware that Nigeria joined comity of 193 nations in putting in place SDGs with a standalone Goal 6 for water to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.
“The targets 6.1 and 6.2 for water supply and sanitation have more stringent clause of delivering them as safely managed,” he said.
According to Awe, target 6.3 is strictly on improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated waste water.
He said that Nigeria had not fared too well in the provision of uncontaminated water as could be shown in a recent survey.
He said that a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted in 36 states and the FCT was quite revealing.
“The survey showed that percentage of household drinking water contaminated with E.coli in the homes and at the sources are 90.8 per cent and 77.3 per cent respectively.
“Another data from WASH National Outcome Routine Monitoring in 2018 showed a marginal increase in access to improved water supply to 67.9 per cent with only 3.7 per cent meeting safely managed drinking water services.
“This implies that 96.3 per cent are yet to achieve the target,” he said.
Awe said that the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NIS:554:2015), especially clause 3.24 stipulates that all water service providers must develop a WSP.
An expert, Dr Grace Oluwasanya in a lecture, said that over 80 per cent of the world’s diseases were caused by contaminated water.
Oluwasanya is the acting Head, Department of Water Resources Management and Agro-Meterology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
She said that WSP was introduced in 2004 in the global guidance to preserve public health and ensure that people did not get sick arising from the use of water released by water agencies.
She said that WSP aimed at ensuring safe drinking water through good water supply practice preventing contamination at water sources and preventing re-contamination in distribution and household handling.
The don expressed worry that most water sources were either contaminated by excreta through open defecation, illegal connections or by animal or birds that perch on water tanks.
Oluwasanya appealed to governors of the South East to provide good potable water to their people.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Grace Yussuf
The National Task Group on Sanitation on Wednesday declared Four new Local Government Areas open defecation free, having met requirements in the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol.
The Local Government Areas are; Nsit Atai in Akwa Ibom State, Gagarawa and Kiyawa of Jigawa State, and Agatu in Benue State.
At the monthly meeting of the National Task Group on Sanitation on Wednesday in Abuja, the Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Awe, noted that the declaration makes a total of 20 local government areas now defecation-free.
Receiving the reports from validators who went on the field to verify claimed reports from the local government authorities, Awe thanked the team and members of the group to improve Sanitation and hygiene in the country.
According to him, Nigeria ought to do through collective effort in making sure that open defecation practice ended, saying that as the largest open defecator globally, it cannot be ‘business as usual’.
He said 754 local government areas still needed to be open defecation free, noting that current efforts show that one in two persons defecate openly in the country, and has no access to toilets.
The chairman said Nigeria ought to take a cue from India who made commitment through political will and financial provision to end open defecation in the country.
He hinted that at the upcoming World Bank Spring for Finance Ministers’ meetings in April, discussions would be to see how countries would increase budgets for sanitation and hygiene in line with the Sustainable Development Goals six.
On possible relapse of communities declared open defecation free, Mr Nanpet Chuktu, Programme Manager of Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria, United Purpose, noted that plans were on the way to bring all traditional leaders to a meeting to see work out sustainability plans.
Chuktu, whose organisation is implementing the programme in Benue and Cross River states said Agatu local government had made steady efforts towards ending open defecation, saying the delay was from the farmers-herdsmen crises some time ago.
He added that communities have been triggered and empowered on Simple Doable Actions that will help to maintain ODF status and promote sustainability in hygiene promotion.
Mrs Yemisi Akpa, a member of the Task Group and staff of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, noted that efforts were on to review the ODF Guideline, saying it would involve a post ODF monitoring towards ending relapse of defecation-free communities.
“We recognise that some ODF communities may have a relapse, that is why we are designing a post ODF guideline for monitoring them.
“This would involve follow-up visits from time to time to see that they maintain the status. “
A Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist for UNICEF, Mr Bioye Ogunjobi, commended the team for efforts made so far at getting more Local government areas open defecation free.
Ogunjobi urged the NTGS and other stakeholders to key into efforts already made in some communities, as they could be ‘low hanging fruits’ for programme success.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that today’s declaration makes a total of 20 local government areas, now open defecation free.
Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has begun activities to intensify efforts to promote hand washing culture to halt spread of Lassa fever outbreak in the country.
Mr Emmanuel Awe, the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation in the ministry made this known to the told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.
Awe said that with the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in parts of the country, the ministry could not fold its hands to watch.
According to him, advocacy has started among its partners to see how promotion of hand washing culture with soap, water or ash in public places will be achieved.
He said that promoting hand washing at critical times was key to fighting the spread of diseases, especially with the recent threat in the country.
“We are going to start awareness campaign on promoting hand washing with soap or ash and water, we all know our hands have a way of passing germs into our body.
“The ministry will see how the gains recorded during the last Ebola outbreak will be harnessed, how we emphasised hand washing culture at all times.”
Also reacting to the Lassa fever outbreak, Mr Benson Attah, the National Coordinator, Society for Water and Sanitation said that as the dry season starts, there was the possibility of having rampant cases of diseases such as Lassa fever.
“As the weather is changing, so are those things that affect our health, we also see the need for continuous sensitisation because it is not just Lassa fever after some time now, we will hear of cholera outbreak, we now hearing about coronavirus in Asia.
“We are hoping that it will not get into the country, hence the need to keep up with the hand washing culture, there are also some kinds of behavioural practices that people, especially at the grassroots should do.
“Citizens should focus on behavioural change, remember that time when we had Ebola outbreak, everyone was ready to wash their hands and do all sorts just to stay clean, immediately we heard that Ebola was defeated, we all went back to our normal lives.’’
Attah said that the role of behaviour change could not be over emphasised as it relates to food and water, adding that with adequate knowledge and attitudinal changes, the disease spread would be curtailed.
He said the organisation had begun processes to partner with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to promote awareness creation and sensitisation in parts of the country, adding that this would go a long way to promote hygiene and halt spread of diseases.
Attah said that the organisation was part of the Emergency Operation Centre which met regularly to advocate for interventions in emergency situations, saying more stakeholders partnerships was needed, especially in rural areas.
“We have started the discussion in the area of providing health education and awareness creation in communities, this has helped us to see that being proactive will help us to minimise the impact of such outbreak, reduce cost and unnecessary deaths.”
The coordinator said key organisation in charge of health education should do more on health promotion, and not wait for an outbreak of diseases before doing last minute activities.
A Public Health Expert, Dr Tuyi Mebawondu, stressed the need for health education at all times, saying personal hygiene had a big role to play in disease outbreak and control.
He said that there was need for safe disposal of waste and frequent fumigation of environment, saying rats should be killed and not spared whenever they were seen.
“Don’t self medicate, if you have illness, see a doctor immediately, keep your house clean, personal hygiene is important always.
“If you see any rat around, make sure they are killed, cover your foods, make sure your house is clean, and waste disposed properly.”
The Nigeria News Agency reports that as at Jan. 24, no fewer than 195 confirmed cases of Lassa fever and 29 deaths have been reported in 11 states.
Lassa fever is largely transmitted through contact with items or surfaces contaminated with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats.
It can also be transmitted from person-to-person through contact with blood, urine, faeces and other body fluids of an infected person.
To minimise the risk of infection, members of the public are advised to ensure their environment is always kept clean to avoid contact with rodents.
Early symptoms are fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, sore throat etc. It is in very severe cases that the patient bleeds from body openings.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf