IN support of women and children health, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) with the support of Global Affairs Canada has donated pedal-operated hand wash and sanitising systems to primary health care centres in five local governments in Oyo State.
Director, Centre for Population and Reproductive Health, University of Ibadan, Professor Dosu Ojengbede, while making the donation on behalf of UNFPA at the Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, said the advent of COVID-19 had necessitated the donation to ensure that treatment of women, including complications from female genital mutilation (FGM), is not hindered.
Professor Ojengbede stated that the donation of pedal-operated hand wash and the sanitising system was to give confidence to the healthcare workers and women that access treatment at these centres of their safety and to protect them from contracting the virus.
He declared that women’s health is affected by FGM, leaving physical, social and health consequences and as such ensuring COVID-19 does not deprive them appropriate treatment is important even as UNFPA continues on its goal of eliminating FGM.
“Oyo State is one of the top five states with the highest number of FGM in Nigeria, and because they come to these facilities, they have to be attended to.
“If you really want to encourage healthcare providers to provide the service that is required, we need to have facilities that are COVID-19 prevention- compliant. That is what led us into making available continual hand-washing mechanisms at these facilities in the LGAs where we are working in Oyo State,” he said.
Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji, said the donation would improve on hand-washing hygiene practice, which is very helpful and crucial to service delivery.
“This pedal-operated hand-washing set is very handy and a local technology which is helpful because it prevents you from touching either the water or the soap. So many people can use it without contaminating it. It will go a long way in preventing infection, not only COVID-19 but other hospital-acquired infections that spread due to poor hygiene,” he added.
Dr Monday Famakin, medical officer of health, Ibadan North Local Government Area who spoke on behalf of the other benefiting LGAs said the donation would offer them the opportunity of hand hygiene both by healthcare workers, patients and their relatives on a visit to the hospital.
According to him, the five LGAs to benefit from the donation are Ibadan North, Ibarapa North, Oyo West, Ogbomoso-South and Kajola, being local government areas where female genital mutilation is very common.
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