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Diarrhea outbreak: Akeredolu laments 87,000 Nigerian children annual deaths

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate 2019 World Toilet Day, Wife of Ondo State Governor, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has raised concerns over the huge deaths recorded in Nigeria annually, urging women to embrace personal hygiene.

Anyanwu-Akeredolu stressed that the death of children under the ages of five years could be prevented when sanitation is considered as paramount because it would forestall the spread of killer diseases in the country.

To commemorate this year’s event themed, ‘Leaving No One Behind’, through her ‘WASH N’ PLAY ‘ initiative and launch of the Clean Nigeria Campaign, the governor’s wife noted that, the people must use hygienic toilet facilities, where human waste are safely disposed and prevented from causing endemic diseases.
“The available records show that across the world, 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation, 673 million still practice open defecation, while three billion lack basic handwashing facilities; while in Nigeria, 47 million people do not use toilets causing nearly 87,000 diarrheal related deaths in children under the age of five and therefore advised women to teach their children/wards basic hygiene and always pay attention to those people left behind without sanitation”.
While calling for collective actions in curbing inter-border sanitation crisis and revealing the importance of toilet in saving lives of the people, Akeredolu affirmed that the United Nations set aside 19th of November annually to raise awareness on sanitation and hygiene in our communities, thus, marking the World Toilet Day.
She said “the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu understands the importance of the celebration and is determined to tackle sanitation challenges in the State, saying it is part of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the Goal 6 which promises sanitation for every household by 2030”.
The WASH N’ PLAY Initiative is aimed at raising awareness on the state of WASH infrastructure in public schools in Ondo State and further increases citizens participation to solve the WASH problems.
Towards this end, a fundraising novelty match has also been organised to mark this event, so as to enable interested persons contribute towards creating a disease-free environment, as funds raised will be used to construct toilet and water facilities in selected public schools with the worst WASH indices.
For about two years, the Wife of the Governor, through one of her Foundations, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) and the support of Ondo State citizens has provided not less than 24 toilet units and water facilities for schools in Ondo State. Some of the beneficiaries include Ilu Abo High School, Ilu Abo in Akure North Local Government and Okeigbo Grammer School, Okeigbo in Ile Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government.


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