Abuja, May 4th 2018 – As the World prepares to celebrate the 2018 World Hygiene Day with the theme, “Save Lives, Clean Your Hands”, Mrs Toyin Saraki, the President and founder of Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), today paid a courtesy visit to the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WR) Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu.
The meeting was aimed at enhancing collaboration between WBFA and WHO on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) campaign to improve basic hygiene practices in healthcare facilities and schools across Nigeria.
WHO estimates that there are 30 million patients affected sepsis every year due to poor hand hygiene practices by health care workers. On 2018 World hygiene day, the global health body calls on health workers to “take 5 moments to clean your hands to prevent sepsis in health care”.
As a global ambassador for quality and improved midwifery services, Mrs Saraki stressed the significance of creating a stimulus for change and investment in national implementation during the visit.
“To quote the WHO, in Nigeria, 29% of health care facilities do not have access to safe water and toilets, while 16% do not have hand washing facilities with soap.” Mrs. Saraki says.
“Without a dramatic investment in WASH in health care facilities, universal quality care won’t be possible. Water, sanitation, and hand hygiene supplies are non-negotiable for health workers to do their work.” She reiterated.
Appreciating the work of the WBFA, Dr Alemu expressed WHO’s eagerness to collaborate with the Foundation.
According to him, “The message and target for your programme are very clear, we believe that if we manage to reduce infections at the facility level, where most dangerous transmission pathogens are found – what we call hospital acquired infections, WASH will definitely bring the infections down”.
In 2018, Nigeria recorded several outbreaks associated with poor hygiene and sanitation. The outbreaks include Lassa fever (20 states), Meningitis (15 states), Yellow fever (7 states) and cholera (3 states).