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    Nigeria: WaterAid Spots Health Centre Struggles

    WaterAid Nigeria has called for action as four in five health centres in Nigeria still operate without soap or water two years after the World Health Assembly made a global promise.

    The World Health Assembly, which is the decision-making body of World Health Organisation (WHO), focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the executive board.

    The assembly’s 194 members, in 2019, unanimously agreed to ensure universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in all hospitals and other health facilities.

    ‘However, in Nigeria, about 17 percent of health care centres do not have access to a water source, and four in five health care facilities (80 percent) still lack somewhere to wash hands with soap to protect patients and health care workers from catching and spreading deadly infections’, WaterAid Nigeria said in a statement.

    WaterAid Nigeria called on the country’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to prioritise basic hygiene for health care facilities as part of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery plan.

    National health data shows that 26 percent of health care facilities do not have access to toilets on-site and only four percent of health care facilities in Nigeria have access to combined water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

    ‘Millions of people are at risk of contracting diseases because they use or work in a health care facility which lacks basic water services’, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said.

    ‘In the [21st] century this simply [should not] be and [need not] be the case. The cost of investing to ensure every health centre and hospital in the poorest countries has a reliable water supply, working toilets and good hygiene may seem high but the benefits of such an investment far outweigh the cost.

    ‘Trying to create a robust pandemic preparedness and response plan without ensuring that every health care centre has clean water and the ability to keep its patients, frontline health workers and premises clean is like building a fortress with a gaping hole where the door should be. Unless leaders wake up to this, more lives will be needlessly lost’.

    Source: WaterAid Nigeria

    Photo source: WaterAid/Magaji Barde

    Jesse Kolo
    Jesse Kolohttps://www.impacthouse.ltd
    Jesse Kolo is a communications enthusiast who devotes his time to writing, surfing the internet and learning new technology. He is a graduate of Physics from the Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State.

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