Friday, 6 January 2017

WaterAid advocates prioritising healthcare facilities across Nigeria

WaterAid, an NGO has urged the Ferderal Government to place premium on improving healthcare facilities in hospitals and clinics to address health challenges in the country.

Oluseyi Abdulmalik Communications and Campaigns Manager of the organisation made the call in on Friday in Abuja.

She said that the organisation had realised the non-existence of water supply, broken toilets and poor hygiene was putting  the health of patients, staff and surrounding communities at risk in some notable hospitals across the country.

“Our call remains that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) is committed to ensure that everyone has access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by 2030.

“We want to see healthcare facilities are prioritised; no new hospitals or clinics should be built without water and sanitation facilities.

“Imagine a doctor operating with gallons of purchased water lined up in jerry cans because the taps are dry.

“Lab technicians washing out faeces samples in hand basins without running water of as many as 40 patients a day and  only one stinking toilet in which to relieve themselves,“ she said.

The official expressed dissatisfaction over the situation whereby one-third of Nigeria’s population did not have access to clean water.

She said that two-thirds do not have access to basic, private toilets, and one in three healthcare facilities in Nigeria do not have access to water.

She said that WaterAid had recently conducted assessment of WASH facilities in Primary Healthcare Centres in its six focal states of Bauchi, Benue, Enugu, Ekiti, Jigawa and Plateau.

According to her, 21.1 per cent of the facilities assessed did not have at least one toilet facility and none meets the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The communication officer noted that the minimum standard of separate toilet facilities for males and females as well separate toilet facilities for staff and patients were expected in all hospitals and clinics.

“WaterAid is calling on the private sector, stakeholders in water sector and government at all levels to join the organisation to ensure that WASH is made priority in all sectors as none can exist without its services,“ she said.