According to the United Nations Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, about 150,000 children die every year in Nigeria due to poor sanitation and the intake of unsafe water, which consequently causes diarrhea.
UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Chief in Nigeria, Mr. Kanaan Nadar, disclosed this on the occasion of the 2014 global hand washing day celebration in Abuja.
He charged parents with the task of educating the children to wash their hands regularly with soap and uphold good hygiene in order to avoid contracting diseases especially the most recent Ebola Virus Disease.
In his speech, Nadar said, “In Nigeria every year, we have about 150,000 children that die largely due to diarrhea mostly associated with unsafe water sanitation and hygiene.
“Hand washing can actually step down this diarrhea death to almost 50 per cent and reduce pneumonia to almost 40 per cent. So hand washing is really important.”
Furthermore, he said: “In the fight against the spread of the Ebola virus, hand washing with soap, as an important tool, has made additional line of difference.“Choose hand washing for this is apt given the prominence that hand washing has gained especially in this particular time of crisis in a number of countries.
“Everyone can choose to wash his or her hand with soap after using the toilet and before eating or touching food, thereby creating healthy environment not only for themselves but also for the family and the larger society.”
Also speaking at the event was the minister of water resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe.
She said: “Today across Nigeria, over 250,000 pupils from 100 selected schools are participating in the global hand washing campaign and will be demonstrating the process of hand washing with running