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171 Million Nigerians Do Not Have Access To Hygiene Services – Minister

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaimon Hussein Adamu said that 171 million Nigerians do not have access to hygiene services.

The minister made the observation in his address to commemorate the 2022 Global Handwashing Day. Leveraging its position as a foremost advocate of hand hygiene habits and regular handwashing, Dettol Nigeria has once again partnered with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to celebrate this year’s event.

The event, which served as further emphasis on Dettol’s dedication to advance the cause of enhanced hand hygiene as a tool to decrease hygiene-related diseases held on the 17th of October 2022 in Abuja.

Adamu who was represented by a director at the ministry, Mrs. Elizabeth Ugoh noted that in Nigeria, only 13 percent of the rural population has access as against 25 percent of the urban population, while the wealthiest households are about four times more likely to have basic handwashing services compared to the poorest households.

“Though hygiene is a critical element of an integrated approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery, an estimated 2.3billion people globally and 171 million Nigerians do not have access to hygiene services”, he said.

Expressing his belief in the theme, “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene”, the minister commended the stakeholders for their support.

“Through this celebration, we are further raising awareness on the importance of handwashing with soap as a fundamental action of hygiene for our well-being, in line with the objectives of the United Nations General Assembly.

“The theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’, is therefore, a call to action to build on the progress made from previous years by uniting to ensure hand hygiene access and practice for everyone, everywhere”, he added.

On the part of government, according to him, there has been increased prioritization of hygiene programming and deployment of needed resources.

“I would also like to particularly appreciate the contribution of our partners for their financial and technical support, in the promotion of sanitation and hygiene, through programmes and activities aimed towards the attainment of the SDG Goal 6 for water and sanitation”, he stressed.

While commenting on Dettol’s commitment to the importance of the international advocacy day, the Marketing Director, Reckitt Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Tanzim Rezwan said the purpose of the annual Global Handwashing Day, which promotes handwashing with soap as an essential step in illness prevention, is to raise public awareness of the necessity of hand hygiene across the globe.

“With Dettol, we have made this vision more than a one-day activity and are devoted to seeing Nigerians inculcate a handwashing lifestyle as reports have stated that diarrhea prevention focused on safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation is not only possible, but cost effective.

“With our veritable cache of initiatives such as the Dettol Clean Naija Initiative, the introduction of the Hygiene Quest Curriculum, and recent partnership with Wellbeing Foundation Africa, we are well on our way to fulfilling our vision of impacting 6 million children with healthy hygiene and handwashing habits by 2025”, he further explained.

Over the past 8 years, Reckitt Nigeria has, through the Dettol brand, become a hub of inspirational public health campaigns aimed at revolutionising the hygiene habits of Nigerians of all ages and gender. Through the School Hygiene Quest Program and New Mum’s Program, Dettol has furthermore begun to build new hygiene habits in children of all ages at various educational levels.

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