• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Experts harp on public health standards in Nigeria

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Prevention has for long been viewed by experts as the most sustainable way to engender disease prevention. In achieving this, the role of cleaning professionals cannot be overemphasised, given the critical role they play in keeping public places free of germs and other disease-causing organisms.

“It is our responsibility as a cleaning and hygiene service company to promote cleanliness and hygiene in our environment. We have stewardship responsibilities to our clients and the people who move in and out of the public spaces where we provide our services,” states Nneka Unachukwu, managing director, Avant Facility Cleaning Services.

The need for more specific cleaning regime based on the peculiarities of the location is also very important in the achievement of desired health and hygiene outcomes.

ISSA, the leading international association for the cleaning industry worldwide, has identified that many facilities do not clean as frequently as needed to adequately reduce public health risk. Currently, there are no industry standards, due to the high degree of variability from one facility to another. Therefore, each facility manager needs to individually determine their cleaning frequencies based on factors such as number of occupants or amount of traffic, surfaces, age of the building, geographic factors, weather factors, availability of cleaning personnel and budget constraints.

With the recent Ebola Virus Disease scare in Nigeria, significant questions were raised about Nigerians and their attention to hygiene management.

Unachukwu notes, “Obviously the Ebola situation provides more reasons for all Nigerians to promote health and cleanliness, but we think it goes far beyond the Ebola situation. The situation has been well managed by governments across all levels, but the challenge this throws at all stakeholders is one of ensuring that we act to ensure that we engender positive public health outcomes.”

She called on cleaning practitioners to undertake intensive training for all Janitors, since it’s their core responsibility to ensure proper cleaning procedures are followed to avoid cross-contamination.

“It is important they maintain high cleaning standards in the various facilities they maintain. The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning sanitizers while cleaning restrooms and similar areas shouldn’t be overlooked. As cleaning professionals, we need to always work closely with our clients to ensure optimal hygiene and cleanliness,” she stressed.

The company recently distributed free hand sanitizers to people in the Lagos metropolis, an activity that also provided an opportunity for the staff of the company to educate members of the public on the importance of public health.

“We have a responsibility to the environment where we do our business. We need to be good corporate citizens and it is one of our cardinal business principles to always be that,” Unachukwu stressed.

ALEXANDER CHIEJINA