Deltans have been told to imbibe the habit of regular hand washing with soap and water to stamp out most air and water borne diseases.
The State Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Sir Fidelis Okenmor Tilije, stated this during the 2017 Global Hand Washing Day Celebration in Asaba held on Tuesday November 7, 2017.
The Commissioner said that regular hand washing with soap help to reduce disease burden associated with unclean hands.
Sir Tilije listed diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, hemorrhagic fever such as Lassa fever and Monkey Pox and others as diseases caused by unclean hands, saying that they accounted for majority of all morbidity and mortality of people every year, particularly children under five years of age.
He stated that Nigerians spend millions of naira on treatment annually, explaining that the pediatric death toll due to diarrhea, acute respiratory infections and other diseases could be reduced if people cultivated the simple habit of regular hand washing.
The Commissioner called for strict adherence to habit of regular hand-washing with soap and water before eating or preparing food, after using the toilet, touching sick person, handling animals or animal waste, coughing or sneezing, could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie, represented by a Chief Inspector of Education in the Ministry, Mr Justina Ishaka stated that all schools had been instructed to provide facilities that pupils and students could use to wash their hands regularly.
Mr. Ebie enjoined the pupils and students to always wash their hand at all time to avoid contracting gems, saying, “When our hands are clean, there will be less ill health and the pupils will do well in their academics.”
Speaking on the theme for the 2017 Global Hand-Washing Day, ‘Our Hand Our Future’, the General Manager of Rural Water and Sanitation (RUWASA), Engr Blessing Edewor, described hand washing as the cheapest ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine to guarantee important health for oneself.
Engr Edewor said RUWASA had been in collaboration with the State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to provide facilities in primary and secondary schools in the State for hand washing in the various school premises.
He disclosed that Global Hand Washing was celebrated on October 15th of every year but this year’s fell on a Sunday hence the postponement of the event to 7th of November, 2017.
The RUWASA General Manager stated that RUWASA and UNICEF had collaborated over time to promote hand-washing activities for good health, through the provision of basic sanitation and hygiene services anchored on construction of water supply and sanitation facilities.
Speaking on the ‘Benefits of Our Hands’ the Director of Primary Health Care Services, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Paul Yinkore stated said, “We need to take care of our hands because there lies our future, saying that God gave us our hands to benefit us and we need to protect them jealously.
Every October 15 is Global Hand-Washing Day instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their hand-washing habits at critical moments each day.
Present at the occasion were the Board Chairman, RUWASAN, represented by Amah Agbajoh; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Felicia Adun, Directors in the Ministry and from RUWASA, representatives of UNICEF and the Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Pupils and their teachers, among others.
Highpoint of the occasion was road show, lectures and practical demonstration of hand-washing exercise with school pupils in Asaba who were at the occasion.