Okwe Obi, Abuja
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said 102,000 children under the age of five die annually due to poor sanitation and unhygienic practices.
Adamu, who quoted figures from ‘WASH watch,’ yesterday, at a press briefing in Abuja to mark the 2019 hand washing day, also revealed that 33 percent of the children under the same age bracket were stunted.
This year’s event is entitled: ‘Clean Hands for All’.
October 15 every year is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap.
The minister insisted that washing hand with soap remains an affordable, accessible ‘do it yourself’ vaccine for sanitation and hygiene-related diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever and pneumonia which are prevalent in our communities.
‘’Hand washing is estimated to cut deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by a quarter. It also helps to ensure the sustenance of efforts to end neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis among others,’’ he said.
He said absence of water and soap in public places like schools, healthcare facilities and workplaces was an equity issue for girls and women, particularly for menstrual hygiene management.