United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has stated that every year, Nigeria loses over 150,000 children to diarrhea, largely caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
This was disclosed by the agency’s Chief of Communication, Doune Porter, saying “this is equivalent to a big passenger aircraft crashing every day.’’
The UN agency in a survey released yesterday to coincide with the Global Handwashing Day, said across six states in Nigeria, there are gaps in hygiene due to poor handwashing practice among the people.
It revealed that an average of 82 percent of the people wash their hands before eating, while only 53 percent wash their hands with soap after defecation, it alarmingly found that only about 14 percent wash their hands with soap after cleaning a child’s feces which poses serious public-health risks.
It said regular handwashing with soap after using the toilet, changing children’s nappies and before eating or handling food saves more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, stressing that such practices can reduce death from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.
It, however, noted that washing your hands with soap was also an important line of defense against the spread of Ebola.


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