Only 20 % of health facilities have sanitation facilities —Minister   

Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, on Monday said that only 20 per cent of hospitals have basic sanitation facilities, adding that this should raise concerns over the poor hygiene situations in the country.

Adamu said this at the Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Sanitation in Abuja.

According to him, these statistics are abysmally low and Nigerians should show more commitment to change the narrative.

He said that the meeting was an opportunity to highlight and maximise the role sanitation and hygiene were playing in preventing and mitigating disease outbreak in the country.

He said that in spite of the health dimension of sanitation improvement, there also exists opportunity to build a circular economy around sanitation businesses.

“Our statistics are abysmally low. Only 20 per cent of health facilities have adequate hygiene facilities.  We must, therefore, explore and take maximum advantage of these opportunities.

“As you are aware, responsibility for different aspects of sanitation lies within different ministries, but Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) has a cross-cutting impact on other sectors.

“It is, therefore, imperative that we continue to work together to harmonise efforts in addressing the sanitation challenge being faced by Nigeria,” he said.

Adamu said that the Clean Nigerian Campaign had  yielded considerable results as Nigeria could now boast of 78 open defecation-free local government areas (LGAs).

He urged the various tiers of government to strengthen collaborative efforts in improving access to sustainable hygiene services, in line with the SDGs and the mantra of `leaving no one behind’.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that managing open defecation and solid waste disposal were among the factors promoting healthy living.

According to him, addressing all public health concerns is a huge battle toward winning the goal of wellness and a healthier environment.

He said that his ministry had made a policy that would ensure that all building contractors adhered to building toilets in all public places.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, said that the ministry bore the greatest burden of all societal ills, as issues of health promotion and disease prevention were its responsibility.

Mamora said that the principle of universal health coverage highlighted the need for health promotion, disease prevention and treatment at all times.

He, however, urged all states to show more commitment toward ending the spread of hygiene-related diseases such as: cholera and diaorrhea.

Ms. Jane Bevan, UNICEF Chief of WASH, said it was commendable that line ministries had shown commitment toward scaling up sanitation in their respective offices.

According to her, there is the need to support states in making sanitation facilities available in all schools.

Bevan said that this would go a long way to improve the wellbeing of pupils and students.

She said that Jigawa and Katsina State Governments had shown commitments toward making their states open-defecation free, adding that all other states should do more.

Bevan said that the UN Agency was  committed  to supporting Nigeria in its drive to scaling up sanitation.

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