An NGO, Centre for School Health Education and Environmental Hygiene (CSHEEH), has emphasised the need for coordinated efforts in pursuit of universal hand hygiene.
CSHEEH Executive Director, Dr Folasade Momoh, made the remarks while speaking at an event in Junior Secondary School (JSS), Byazhin, Kubwa, Abuja to mark this year’s Global Handwashing Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of this year’s GHWD which is its 15th edition is, “Clean hands are within reach.”
Momoh stressed the need for coordinated and collective action plan towards achieving universal hand hygiene, by promoting the advancement of hand hygiene and practice.
She said everyone had a role to play in making the vision of “Clean hands are within reach” a reality.
“In alignment with the Global Handwashing Day Campaign, we firmly believe that with strong leadership and collective dedication, we can bridge the gaps in access and practice, thereby ensuring hand hygiene for all.
“So, as we leave here today, let us be committed to playing our part as we go to our respective homes, places of worship and work places.
“We must create opportunity for regular handwashing every time, everywhere, practice good handwashing habits and encourage others to do same.
“By doing these, we shall sustain what we will learn from here today, then we can ensure that clean hands will be within our reach,” she said.
Executive Chairman, FCT UBEB, Dr Alhassan Sule, represented by Rahmat Nusa, Director JSS, expressed his gratitude to CSHEEH for providing the school hand washing facilities.
She noted that it was not the first time the foundation was embarking on such projects in schools in FCT.
Sule also emphasised the virtues of hand washing, saying that ensuring hand hygiene could go a long way towards saving lives.
“I sincerely want to thank CSHEEH for their efforts. I recall that last year they embarked on a similar project in one of our JSS in Asokoro.
“We at UBEB FCT really applaud their efforts and contributions to the society.
“Our responsibility as a board is to bring education nearer to the community, but the responsibility is for all of us and not just government alone.
“So, everyone must contribute their own little quota by identifying and solving a problem in our schools in order to sustain this project of continuous education in the over 199 JSS in our communities in FCT,” she said.
Nusa emphasised the need for the school to imbibe a good maintenance culture, adding that the facilities inaugurated can only last for a long time if they are well taken care of.
“My message to the school community is to ensure they make utmost use of the facilities provided.
“Unfortunately, we have a bad maintenance culture in this part of the world.
“But I am hopeful that these facilities can be well taken care so as to ensure it continues to serve its purpose.
“With good maintainance therefore, these facilities inaugurated here today will definitely stand the test of time,” she said.
Mr. Ishaya Dodo, the Director/ Principal, JSS Byazhin, said the school was honoured to be selected by CSHEEH for the installation of hand washing facilities and the renovation/refurbishing of toilet facilities.
He said the importance of handwashing among children of school age can never be over emphasised.
“What is being demonstrated here today, if put into action would help save thousands and millions of children in and out of the hospital.
“It is my earnest desire that God Almighty will grant the organisation all their heart desires to continue with their good work,” he said.
NAN also reports that the highlight of the event was the inauguration of the newly installed handwashing facilities as well as the renovated WASH facilities within the school premises.
Handwashing products and printed book marks with health information on critical times to wash hands and the benefits of handwashing were also distributed to all participants at the end of the programme.