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Teach children to wash hands correctly, Save The Children urges parents

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  • Marks Global hand Washing Day

The Global Hand Washing Day was marked in Nigeria recently amid call by Save The Children, an international Non-Governmental Organisation on humanitarian and development- with a focus on Health and Child Survival, has urged parents to teach their children on the proper way to wash hands “to improve their life options and wellbeing.”

In a Press  Release to mark the event, the organization said the goals of the Global Hand Washing Day is in line with the objective of ‘Save the Children’s’ project, “Stop Diarrhoea Initiative” being implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, with support from Reckitt Benckiser.

“This initiative seeks to demonstrate the efficacy of the WHO/UNICEF recommended 7 point plan for Diarrhoea prevention among children under 5 years old. Hand washing is a core element of the 7 point plan.

“It underscores the importance of hand washing in the prevention of childhood killer infection such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. According to the latest report of Oxford Policy Management research conducted in August 2017 on the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative project in Somolu and Bariga, handwashing with soap before eating recorded significant improvement from baseline  55% in 2014 to 65% in the 2017 midline evaluation”

Save The Children described the theme for the 2017 global celebration as “highly significant” as it lays emphasis on the benefits of hand washing with soap to health and promotion of economic growth.

“This is due to fewer missed work/school days, lower health system costs and greater access to educational opportunities. The theme is also intricately linked to the attainment of SDGs goal 1, 2, 3 and 6. Children remain strategic in behavior change communication effort which underscores the need for them to start early.

“It is estimated that hand washing with soap by care givers can reduce the incidence of Diarrhoea in under 5 years by up to 50% and respiratory infection related incidence such as Pneumonia by at least 25%.

“There are 5 critical times recommended for handwashing with soap to prevent infections. They include before feeding a baby, before eating, before cooking, after using the toilet and after cleaning baby’s buttocks or changing baby diaper.

“This year’s campaign provides another opportunity for stakeholders to take deliberate steps in sustaining awareness and providing the necessary support for hand washing with soap culture among Nigerians and especially care givers.

“It is extremely important to provide resources such as soap and water in schools to enable the practice and sustain the culture of hand washing with soap among children who are the future of this great nation,” the oganisation said.

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