Poor access to WASH, major cause of deaths in Nigeria – Bauchi commissioner


Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Honourable Ahmad Aliyu Jalam, on Friday, attributed a large percentage of deaths in developing countries, including Nigeria, to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Jalam stated this at an event held at Hazibal Suites, Bauchi, to mark this year’s World Hand Washing Day, saying that hand hygiene must therefore become everybody’s business.

In his words, the commissioner said, “Large percentage of deaths recorded each year, especially in developing societies such as ours in Nigeria, are related to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene with more than half of such deaths attributed to diarrhoea diseases and children being the most vulnerable.”

He, however, asserted that regular hand washing with soap at critical times has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by nearly 50 percent, adding that a recent study found that regular hand washing reduces the infection of Covid-19 by 36 percent.

According to Jalam, “There is a need to take immediate action on hand hygiene across all public and private settings to respond and control the COVID-19 pandemic and cholera epidemic.”

The commissioner then called on the general public to make hand hygiene a mainstay in public health interventions beyond the epidemic, pandemic and create a culture of hand hygiene.

He assured that the state governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, is fully committed to sustaining and accelerating progress in access to safe water supply, effective sanitation and safe hygiene practices for the continued betterment of the lives of people of the state.

Speaking on the World Hand Washing Day, Jalam informed that the Day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), adding that it was being celebrated on the 15th of October of every year.

“It is a day that is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap under clean running water.

“Today’s celebration is, therefore, expected to mobilise millions of people around the world to participate in hand washing activities,” he said.

He added that the theme for this year’s celebration is, “Our future is in our hands – let’s move forward together, and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and cholera in Bauchi State”.

Newspot reports that the Day was celebrated in the state jointly by the Bauchi State government, UNICEF and WaterAid Nigeria.

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