By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Youth Wash Hand Africa said hand washing can play a pivotal role in building sustainable future.
Global Handwashing Day (GHD) which is celebrated on October 15 every year since 2008 when it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It a day set aside to promote a global culture of handwashing with soap and raise awareness on the benefits of the practice.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Coordinator –YouthWASH Africa ,Nature Obiakor said the 2017 ‘Handwashing Day: with the theme “Our Hands, Our Future”is conceptualized to emphasized on how handwashing protects our health, and offer us the opportunity to build a sustainable future.
“Good handwashing practice also plays a pivotal role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by contributing to improve well-being and reduce poverty”.
Obiakor stated that handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet has severally proven to be the best preventive approach to healthy living. It is considered as the most cost effective way to mitigate diseases such as cholera, pneumonia, diarrhea, typhoid fever and can save more lives than any single vaccine ormedical intervention. “
“We must ensure that our children have access to handwashing facilities at school and at home, and teach them good handwashing habits to keep them on track for a healthy future. But, these benefits can only be achieved if handwashing is constantly practiced”.
She Further pointed out that “we have received approval to partner with the FCT Area Councils Services Secretariat (ACSS) on grass rootmobilization and support for effective citizens engagement. We are also working with the FCT Universal Basic Education Board to ensure the successful implementation of the EHCs in the six area councils across the nation’s capital”.
She also expressed that access to water and hygiene is a right issue, not a privilege or charity as largely perceived especially among the political class that sees it as a campaign tool.
There is urgent need to strengthen local government institutions at all levels, as well as harmonize the activities of the different coordinating bodies for maximum productivity.
“Promoting handwashing practices doesn’t just mean making sure people have access to hygiene facilities; they must also be utilized because the benefits of handwashing depend on people washing their hands consistently at critical times. Choosing hand washing is choosing health which is important to our future. Good hygiene practices must be a habit which requires choosing to perform themnot only on Global Handwashing Day, but on regular basis every day”, Obiakor maintained.