As schools in Bauchi State reopen after the long closure due to COVID-19, the Global Handwashing Day celebration is set to reinforce to students in schools that hand-washing is one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of any virus and ensure better health outcomes.
The assertion was made by UNICEF Bauchi Office through Raphael Aiyedip, Education Specialist during the Commemoration of the 2020 Global Hand Washing Day held at Central Primary School, Alkaleri in Alkaleri LGA, Bauchi State lamenting that currently, 40% of the world’s population do not have access to basic handwashing facilities.
UNICEF added that this year’s handwashing campaign has taken centre stage as one of the most efficient ways to protect against the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), reinforcing the message that hand hygiene is equally important in preventing diseases and protecting our health.
Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Dr Surubai Sheik Dahiru Bauchi during his speech emphasised that hand washing is a basic need for healthy living and all students in the school should make use of items provided and ensure they wash their hands regularly.
Represented by Education Secretary Hajiya Jumai Sanda, he assured that the state government will continue to support the schools and provide the necessary support to ensure students stay safe and learn in a conducive environment.
After the speech, the Education Secretary demonstrated Hand washing process with soap and running water to the students and entire school community present after which students of the school took turns to wash their hands starting with the head boy and head girl.
The Education Officer expressed that UNICEF has the mandate of improving the lives of children and women and is committed to ensuring the achievement of the sustainable development goals for all.
She narrated that all these are supported by funding from Global Partnership for Education and other donors who are determined to create a conducive and enabling environment for the development of children in Nigeria and the world at large.
The school community were sensitised on COVID 19 symptoms and preventive measure and emphasis were made on Handwashing with water and soap as the Global Hand Washing Day is about taking action to increase access and practice of handwashing with soap so that everyone in the schools and community joins together for hand hygiene and to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It was stressed that it is important that everyone, everywhere washes their hands, whenever they have to wash their hands. He pointed out that hands must be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds.
The headteacher of the school expresses appreciation to UNICEF and Global Partnership for Education for their contributions the development and well being of the children of this school, community and Nigeria at Large
This year’s Global Handwashing Day has as theme: “Hand Hygiene for All” while the objectives are: to create awareness on the importance of handwashing at critical times; to demonstrate effective handwashing techniques and to promote behavioural change and make handwashing a culture beyond outbreaks.