2015 Global Hand Washing Day

anex62015 GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY CELEBRATION IN THE STATE OF OSUN HELD ON THURSDAY 22ND OF OCTOBER, AT NELSON MANDELA FREEDOM PARK, OSOGBO.

Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

The Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS- Ambassador), ALHAJA Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs, Engr Adelere Oriolowo, disclosed that the event of year 2015 Global Handwashing Day Celebration marked the eighth in the series, it commenced in year 2008 adding that October 15th of every year had been set aside worldwide by the United Nation Organization and designated as the Global Handwashing Day (GHD).

According to the CLTS- Ambassador, the general theme for this year celebration is “RAISE A HAND FOR HYGIENE” which is action-oriented and can be used particularly well for advocacy purposes. The act of raising a hand is one of affiliation. You can and should identify yourself as a hygiene champion, so also you can help create a strong social norm of good hygiene in school, community or region.

She stated further, that a single gram of human feces for instance can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria stressing that pathogens are passed from an infected host to a new one via various routes in which hands is the prominent. Removing excreta and cleaning hands with soap after contact with fecal material from using the toilet or cleaning a child, prevents the transmission of the bacterial, viruses and protozoa that cause diarrheal diseases.

Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola thanked the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for giving his approval for 2015 Global Handwashing to hold, She also expressed her appreciation to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs, Engr Adelere Oriolowo, and the Programme Manager, Office of Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency (RUWESA), Alhaji Posi Adiatu for their good gesture on the rural programmes.

The First Lady in the State of Osun also appreciates the State Task Group on Sanitation (STGS), Members of Staff, Office of Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency (RUWESA), the European Union- Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (EU-WSSSRPll), UNICEF and all other NGOs and Private Partners, for the giant role played to make the event a success. She then appealed to all that Handwashing is not for a day noting that it is a measure that must be done as long as we are alive in order to live a worthwhile life.

Celebration of Global Handwashing Day (GHD) annually on October 15, was founded by the Global Public-Partnership for Handwashing in 2008 as part of the target for International Year of Sanitation (IYS) and it’s an opportunity to design, test and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

These were the submission of the Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Otunba Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori while delivering an opening address at the commemoration of the 2015 Global Handwashing Day Celebration held on Thursday 22nd of October, 2015 at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo. She disclosed that over 200 million people are involved in the celebrations yearly, in over 100 countries around the world and that global Handwashing day is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international and local institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs, private companies and individuals.

The Deputy Governor added that the three major objectives of Handwashing day celebration were to advocate the increase funding for sanitation and hygiene especially Handwashing campaign by policy makers, to raise awareness of the immense health benefits of Handwashing at critical periods; and to use the occasion to promote global culture of Handwashing with soap.

Mrs Grace Titi-Laoye noted that Handwashing with soap is the most cost -effective means of preventing feco-oral diseases like diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera, pneumonia, worm infestations including the dreaded EBOLA disease stressing that children living in households exposed to Handwashing promotion and soap surfers half the diarrhoeal rates of children living in control neighborhoods because Handwashing can prevent the transmission of a variety of pathogens, it may be more effective than any single vaccine.

And according to the number two citizen in the State, “The government of the State of Osun under the able leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola will not relent in her efforts to bring health to the door step of all the citizens of the State in accordance with the six points integra action plan of the present administration. The O’clean campaign and our recent campaign against open defecation throughout the length and breadth of the State through Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), being spare- headed by CLTS Ambassador, Alhaja Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola, are efforts geared towards restoring healthy living in the State, because prevention is better than cure”

While commending the efforts of the Wife of the Governor, State of Osun, ALHAJA Sherifat Aregbesola for her relentless efforts in improving the lots of our women and children, most especially those living in the rural areas; and the State Task Group on Sanitation (STGS) for the successful implementation of various activities to mark this year event, Otunba Titi-Laoye then enjoined all and sundry to obey / imbibe the culture / the global directives on Handwashing, so as to do away with communicable diseases and non-communicable ones, but achieve sanitation and hygiene benefits.

The Guest Speaker for 2015 Global Handwashing Day Celebration, in the State of Osun, Dr Ajala Olufemi of University Medical Centre, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, expanciates further on this year’s topic; “Raise a Hand for Hygiene” and also shared his views on the cogent reasons why we should always keep washing our hands, with practical demonstrations before all.

He emphasized on the carefree attitudes of the roadsides mechanics, vulcanizers, artisans in general, primary school pupils / students, and all the drivers of both educated and illiterate, towards the issue of Handwashing, sanitation and hygiene.

Dr Ajala appealed to the general public to make sure that they use soap and clean water, to always wash all the secret places of their hands before eating and not to be particular on washing hands after food alone but also shun the general use of towels / handkerchiefs in any of the food centres. He also urged the line MDAs to carry the goodwill messages of this year Global Handwashing Day Celebration to the rural dwellers and most especially, primary and secondary schools because knowledge imparted on the younger ones are easily sink and they always eager to put it into practice, as health is wealth.

While responding, the Institutional and Policy Experts for the European Union- Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme-ll (EU-WSSSRPll) in the State of Osun, Mr Adebayo Alao reaffirmed the total commitment of the organization to continue as partners in progress and assured to move the State of Osun to a greater height by adding value to what Governor Rauf Aregbesola has in stock noting that the issue of counterpart funding must always be addressed regularly, and on time.

Also Speaking, the State Consultant and representative of UNICEF in the State of Osun, Mr Ifemide Olowole, acknowledged the importance of Handwashing, Sanitation and Hygiene stressing that, the UNICEF would not relent in giving total support. He also appealed to the government to declare emergency on open defecation in the State while urging that continuous cooperation is also needed from government and Osun indegiene, so as to meet up with the globally approved target on SANITATION and HYGIENE.

OLUSOLA ADEPOJU
MEDIA / PUBLICITY OFFICER,
MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS.