To mark this year’s Global Hand Washing Day, the Federal government and Dettol Nigeria, have emphasised the relevance of hand hygiene as a tool to decrease hygiene-related diseases.
Speaking during an event to further show Dettol’s dedication to advancing the cause of hand hygiene with the theme: “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene”, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaimon Hussein Adamu said: “Through this celebration, we are further raising awareness on the importance of handwashing with soap as a fundamental action of hygiene for our well-being — in line with the objectives of the United Nations General Assembly.”
Represented by a Director in the Ministry, Elizabeth Ugoh explained that though hygiene is a critical element of an integrated approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery, an estimated 2.3 billion people globally and 171 million Nigerians do not have access to hygiene services.
“In Nigeria, only 13 percent of the rural population has access as against 25 percent of the urban population, while the wealthiest households are about four times more likely to have basic handwashing services compared to the poorest households.”
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“The theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’, is, therefore, a call to action to build on the progress made from previous years by uniting to ensure hand hygiene access and practice for everyone, everywhere. On the part of the government, there has been increased prioritization of hygiene programming and deployment of needed resources. I would also like to particularly appreciate the contribution of our partners for their financial and technical support, in the promotion of sanitation and hygiene, through programmes and activities aimed towards the attainment of SDG Goal 6 for water and sanitation.”
Speaking on their commitment, the Marketing Director, Reckitt Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzim Rezwan, explained that the purpose of the annual Global Handwashing Day, which promotes handwashing with soap as an essential step in illness prevention, was to raise public awareness of the necessity of hand hygiene across the globe.
“With Dettol, we have made this vision more than a one-day activity and are devoted to seeing Nigerians inculcate a handwashing lifestyle as reports have stated that diarrhoea prevention focused on safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation is not only possible but cost-effective.
He further asserted that “With our veritable cache of initiatives such as the Dettol Clean Naija Initiative, the introduction of the Hygiene Quest Curriculum, and recent partnership with Wellbeing Foundation Africa, we are well on our way to fulfilling our vision of impacting 6 million children with healthy hygiene and handwashing habits by 2025.”