Coronavirus: Nigerians at risk as 150m lack access to handwashing facilities ― WaterAid

• Says frequent hand-washing to reduce spread by half

Following the global Coronavirus epidemic, WaterAid Nigeria, on Wednesday, said Nigerians are at risk as the national statistics on population indicated that about 150million lack access to handwashing facilities with soap and water.

This is even as it reaffirmed that frequent hand-washing practice would help reduce the disease spread by half.

It stated this in a statement signed by its Communications and Media Manager Oluseyi Abdulmalik.

The statement read: “Handwashing with soap and water can drastically reduce the risk of people contracting infectious diseases like the Coronavirus, which is now recognised as a public health emergency of international concern.

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“However, figures from the WHO/UNICEF 2019 Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) reveal that 58 per cent of homes in Nigeria do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water while national statistics put the population of those in Nigeria that lack access to handwashing facilities with soap and water at about 150 million.”

Also, it stated that five per cent of health facilities in Nigeria have combined basic water, sanitation and hygiene services; with just 13 per cent of schools in the country having basic water and sanitation services.

“Against this sad reality, large segments of the population – healthcare workers, babies, children, public workers – and indeed everyone – are at risk of contracting diseases like the Coronavirus.

“Recognised as the single most cost-effective do-it-yourself vaccine, handwashing with soap and water can reduce disease spread by nearly half. The World Health Organisation 2019 public advisory recommends regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water to protect oneself and others,” it added.

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