By Patricia Amogu
National water aid director Evelyn Mere has urged leaders around the world to invest $ 1.2 billion in water, sanitation and hygiene at health centers during the pandemic.
Mere made the call in a statement through her communications and media director, Mr. Oluseyi AbdulMalik, in Abuja.
She said the call was needed as G20 finance ministers met this week in Rome to discuss how they could recover from the pandemic.
According to her, world leaders are advised to heed this call to save countries from the worrying effects of the pandemic.
She said the said sum is equivalent to just thirty minutes of what most countries have already spent on COVID-19 response packages in the past year.
“Spending at least $ 1.2 billion on water, sanitation and hygiene for health centers is an obvious investment, which both saves lives now and protects against future pandemics and the devastation they cause. cause.
“Yet this could change everything for the millions of people who have no choice but to seek treatment in the 50% of health facilities in the poorest countries that do not have clean water.
“We need to find the urgently needed funds to ensure that all health facilities in the poorest countries have clean water and soap before another pandemic strikes,” she added.
Mere pointed out that if frontline health workers cannot wash their hands, keep patients clean, or have a decent place to go to the bathroom, a hospital is not a hospital at all and that would be fertile ground. for disease.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that since the onset of COVID-19, rich countries have spent large sums, on average nearly 10% of their GDP, and a total of $ 20.6 trillion, into stimulus packages to help strengthen their economies and recover from the pandemic.
In Nigeria, millions of people are without risk of contracting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases because 96% of all health centers in Nigeria lack access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services – thus putting the lives of doctors, nurses, midwives and patients. at risk.
Providing a place for doctors, nurses and patients to wash their hands is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of disease.
A vital injection of funding from the G20 would prevent millions of preventable deaths from infection and disease.
Not only has research shown that washing your hands with soap helps reduce the spread of the coronavirus by a third, it is also believed to help curb the growth of antimicrobial resistance.
Antibiotics are overused in dirty healthcare facilities as a “quick fix” in place of good hygiene – contributing to an increasingly alarming situation as antibiotics lose their infection fighting power.
According to the World Health Organization, an investment of this nature would only take a year to self-finance and generate savings for every dollar invested thereafter, but an ever-growing debt crisis is preventing the world’s most poor people to be able to invest in basic water. (NOPE)
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