Group seeks UI support on water sanitation, hygiene

A group, the Network of Female Professionals in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (FEMinWASH) has sought the collaboration of the Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, in bringing women, as primary carers at home, into the decision-making level of water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery in Nigeria.

The president/convener, FEMinWASH, Dr Boluwaji Onabolu, stated this during her visit to the Dean, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Professor Godson Ana, at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

Dr Onabolu, an environmental health scientist with specialisation in water supply, sanitation and hygiene, said the visit was aimed at formalising the collaboration between the Faculty of Public Health and FEMinWASH for mutual benefits.

She added that FEMinWASH’s objective included the provision of a platform for collaboration on the promotion of access to equitable and sustainable WASH services in Nigeria and amplification of women’s voices in ensuring adequate representation at decision-making levels.

Dr Onabolu said: “Sanitation and hygiene is very important to education, health and almost all the SDGs. Women are usually the ones that bear the major burden as far as sanitation and hygiene are concerned and despite that women are not involved enough not even at the community or decision-making levels.

“This is why we thought that it is important to set up a network. Currently, we have members in academia and in government.

“Because University of Ibadan is a training institution, we thought it is important to come and see the Dean of Public Health and the HOD Department of Environmental Health Sciences. We look forward to collaborating with the faculty, the department and the students.”

The Dean, Faculty of Public Health, Professor Godson Ana, in his response, said as long as water is critical to life, it is an issue that must be given a priority attention.

He commended FEMinWASH for its efforts while pledging to collaborate with the organisation to strengthen the resource bases of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

According to him, the collaboration will be crosscutting as it will be extended to other departments in the faculty.

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