It is globally recognized that the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in educational institutions is a key intervention to promote student’s right to health and clean environment. It has been established that promoting WASH improves health, boosts educational achievement, and promotes gender equity which has a positive impact on the society. It is a key factor especially for women and girls to access the economic, educational, and social opportunities they deserve. Promoting WASH is one of the effective ways of promoting global health.
Access to safe water and toilets are human rights denied to billions of people. This violation leads to growing inequalities. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that roughly half of child undernutrition is caused by poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Around the world, poor water, sanitation and hygiene makes children sick, putting mothers and babies at risk in hospitals, and stopping young women staying safe and well during their menstrual cycle. The impact of poor sanitation, poor water quality and supply, and inappropriate hygienic behaviour is known to be disastrous for infants and young children, and is a significant cause of death among of children under 5 years old. It also has a terrible impact on the health of school-aged children. Children spend long hours in school, and the physical environment and cleanliness of educational facilities significantly determine their health and well-being. Too often, schools are places where children get infected.
Research shows that more than 40 per cent of diarrhoea cases in school children result from transmission in schools rather than homes. Diseases spread faster where many children gather for many hours a day in cramped spaces with limited ventilation, unsanitary conditions, no handwashing facilities or soap, and toilets in poor condition. Research also shows that over one million people around the world die each year from diseases caused by a lack of safe water and sanitation, with most of these deaths recorded in developing countries. Poor sanitation and unsafe water cause nearly 20% of workplace deaths and costs around $260 billion in lost productivity every year. This should not be normal as good water, sanitation and hygiene can reduce sickness by as much as 45%. Handwashing with soap alone can prevent between 500,000 and 1.4 million deaths per year.
As part of its mission and objectives, Community Excellence and Development Initiative (CEDI) is working to promote good water, sanitation, and hygiene in vulnerable communities. CEDI is borne out of the need to empower lives and build sustainable communities by promoting sustainable development projects in health, education, agriculture, clean energy and the environment in Nigerian schools/communities.
CEDI embarked on this workshop to inculcate good hygiene behaviours in pupils and teachers and ensure that they are able to teach their families and friends what they have learnt to help change attitudes and establish good hygiene for generation to come. Provision of good water and sanitation facilities will further improve the health of the students and teachers.
Objectives of the Workshop
Objectives of the workshop include to:
- To raise awareness about the need for good water, sanitation and hygiene
- To interact with pupils and understand the challenges they face in practicing good hygiene, as well as having good water and sanitation.
- To open up opportunities for further engagements with the schools.
- To help generate ideas for scalability in other schools and communities.
The workshop had in attendance over 200 participants from private sector, NGOs/CSOs, Academia as well as the media. The workshop supports the efforts of key stakeholders especially the international community to scale up access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools as it holds potential for impact towards all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG 3 and 6 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages as well as ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all).
The Executive Director of Community Excellence and Development Initiative (CEDI), Mr. Israel Ozovehe O. in his welcome address acknowledged the efforts of various partners and stakeholders in promoting WASH activities in schools. He stated that globally the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in educational institutions is a key intervention to promote student’s right to health and clean environment. He noted that promoting WASH improves health, boosts educational achievement, and promotes gender equity which has a positive impact on the society. He stated that CEDI is promoting WASH in schools because schools have an important role in protecting children and their families from disease and illness due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. He urged all teachers and students to practice good hygiene behaviours and teach their families and friends what they have learnt as this will help change attitudes and establish good hygiene for generation to come.
The Head Teacher, LEA Primary School, Kuchigoro, Mr. Sarki Zachariah, in his remark stated that “This is the first time WASH is mentioned in my school. I am excited about this initiative as I know it will have a positive impact in the school attendance and improve the health of my students and teachers”. He implored CEDI to support them with the provision of some WASH facilities.
The Chief Executive of ZAFTA-MED Clinic and Maternity, Matron, Nurse Mid-wife, Salako Medinat in sensitizing the teachers and pupils threw more light on water and sanitation and the goal of World Health Organization on Education, health, access to good water and proper hygiene by 2030.
She advised the participants to practice good hygienic behaviour so as to reduce the risk of diarrhea, cholera, Hepatitis E and other hygiene-related diseases as well as increase their school attendance and learning achievement.
In her lecture, she educated the teachers and pupils on personal hygiene and how it affects their lives presently and in the future. She noted the need for proper handwashing as it affects our daily lives. Emphasis was laid on the need for the participants to always wash their hands after every activity. She cited germs as the main causes of different kinds of illnesses and stating that these can be prevented by proper sanitation and hygiene.
While engaging the pupils in an interactive section, she told the pupils that their hands is the first point of contact with other persons and objects and explains how diseases can be transmitted from one person to the other. At the end of her lecture, she fielded intelligent questions from the pupils, to which she answered professionally. For example some of the pupils ask questions on how one can know if they have been infected. She responded by telling them the symptoms and treatments of various infections.
The Director, Gender and Social Development at CEDI, Bar. (Mrs.) Gatta Tokunbo in her closing remark underscores the need for WASH in schools and communities and call on all stakeholders to intensify efforts to promote WASH as it is a first step towards ensuring a healthy physical learning environment. She appreciated all participants and urged them to keep spreading the gospel of WASH across the country and emphasized that CEDI will continue to support and partner with other stakeholders to actualize the WASH goal.
|1||Taiwo Risikat||Teacher||Yoruba Mosque Piuoyi airport road||08057286437|
|2||Usman Marian||Teacher||Hausa Area Airport road||08096858418|
|3||Uzoigwu Tochukwu||Teacher||Behind police station airport road||08185793145|
|4||Rifkatu A. Ajiji||Teacher||Behind LEA Primary School||0705059044?|
|5||Jatto Rakiya||Teacher||Behind LEA primary school||08033765393|
|6||Alfred Lami Katungu||Teacher||08057048714|
|9||Gomna Nicah Gaje||Teacher||08036438893|
|10||Chingere Joy Chukwuma||Teacher||09062135433|
|14||Olalekan Esther A.||Teacher||08065682601|
|35||Ummul Kairi Umar||Pupil|
|69||Nayatu Jibri n||Pupil|
|84||Eze E. Chiwendu||Pupil|
|87||Eze Mary Jane||Pupil|
|101||Oriji Amarachi Eze||Pupil|
|112||Mark E. Esomto||Pupil|
|149||Kadijat Nasiru Lawal||Pupil|