Dr Kasarachi Omitiran, Project Manager, The TIDEy Project, on Monday, advocated collaborative efforts of government and private sector to sensitise the citizenry on the health dangers of open defecation.
Omitiran told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that ignorance was responsible for such behaviour which posed a great danger to the well-being of the society.
The medical practitioner restated calls for increased health promotion aimed at making individuals responsible for their health.
“I believe sensitising people through health education on the benefits of sanitation and hygiene is very important.
“If people are taught the dangers of open defecation, it could change their attitude and behaviour,’’ Omitiran said.
She noted that only a synergy between organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and governments at all levels would put an end to the behaviour through awareness on the health hazards.
She also advised the government to engender an immediate change of bad behaviour through legislation and sanctions that promote sanitation and hygiene in society.
According to her, it cannot be left alone to governments, this menace needs all hands to be on deck.
“If you are a school owner, ensure the toilets work. If you manage a public space, also ensure there is adequate provision for toilets,’’ Omitiran said.
The project manager called for improved and ventilated pit latrines as key to mitigating the menace of open defecation.
The TIDEy Project is a social and behavioural change communication and action project targeted at Nigerian schools and universities, powered by the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) Nigeria and partners.