WaterAid Nigeria has urged the Federal Government (FG) to prioritize basic hygiene for healthcare facilities as part of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan.
This was even as it called on the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to prioritise basic hygiene even as his counterparts across the world prepare for the World Health Assembly, against a backdrop of international struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Thursday, the Organization recalled that the World Health Assembly’s 194 members, two years ago had unanimously agreed to ensure universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in all hospitals and other health facilities.
It noted that despite Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, position on the importance of soap and water to stopping the spread of COVID-19, about 17% of health care centres do not have access to a water source.
Also, it said four in five health care facilities still lacks handwashing facilities needed to protect patients and healthcare workers from catching and spreading deadly infections.
” In the world’s poorest countries, half of all hospitals and clinics have no clean water on site. When the World Health Assembly delegations last met in person, they passed a resolution to ensure that all healthcare facilities had water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“And yet, the data shows that across the world almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services, putting them at greater risk of catching COVID-19 and other deadly diseases. One in four health care facilities globally is still without clean water on site, one in three still has nowhere to wash hands where patients are treated and one in ten still lacks decent toilets,”it said.
It further noted that sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a cost-effective measure that guarantees the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.