Handwashing most effective against Covid-19 – Minister

– FMEnv donates safety materials to Kuje Correctional Centre

Chuks Oyema-Aziken

Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar has described handwashing as the most effective check against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister stated this at a press briefing to commemorate the 2020 Global hand washing day.

The theme for the year is “Hand Hygiene for ALL”.

He said that the Day (October 15th) serve as a platform for raising global awareness on the importance of hand washing with soap.

Abubakar said “Fortunate enough, the most effective protection from this ravaging and devastating pandemic we are confronted with, is washing our hands with soap. .

He said the Federal Governments focus is reawakening of societal consciousness on the need to wash the hands always especially after critical moments.

“Appropriate and regular washing of hands keep us healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from person to person. This is because hands serve as a vehicle for transmitting pathogens of respiratory infections, Faeco-oral diseases and Covid-19 virus.

“It has been reported that more than 3.5 million children in Nigeria suffer from diarrheal diseases. Unfortunately children who are less than 5 years old are more prone to such diseases due to lack of knowledge about the importance of hand washing. A simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the infection percentage to 50 and also reduces any respiratory disease by 25%.
forcement Agency (NESREA).

He once again stated what his ministry has done in response to COVID- 19 pandemic.

“Our Ministry has carried out disinfection and decontamination of over 200 public and private premises across the country. I have also directed the Environmental Health Officers in the ministry and those in the states and LGAs to commence an environmental health surveillance of all MDAs, schools and other public places and ensure compliance to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols especially in the areas of provision of hand washing facilities, use of hand sanitizers, face masks etc.”

Meanwhile, to commemorate the Day, the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has donated fumigation machines, face masks and hand sanitisers to Nigeria Correctional Service, Kuje, FCT.

At the event, Dr Abubakar reminded the inmates that government cares and is committed to ensuring that COVID -19 is prevented effectively among them.

Responding, Controller of Correctional Service, Ja`afaru Ahmed, thanked the Federal Government for celebrating with the inmates, on the occasion of International Handwashing Day.

Also, Dr Baba Yakubu, Registrar, EHORECON, said the council in collaboration with the ministry, will ensure that Nigerians as well as the inmates continue to feel the presence of all environmental health officials.

Yakubu said that sanitary inspectors, through the directive from the ministry, have been spread across the country to ensure that COVID-19 and other chronic diseases are prevented.

He said that EHORECON has enough manpower for effective service delivery, adding that recently, the environment minister also deployed 60,000 voluntary environmental health workers in 774 LGAs across the country.

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