47% of Nigerians don’t wash their hands with soap after defecation – UNICEF

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    Did you know that 47% of Nigerians don’t wash their hands with soap after defecation? Well according to UNICEF, this is a fact.

    The United Nations Children Fund carried out a survey in six states sometime last year and found that while an average of 82 per cent of people washed their hands before eating, while only 53 per cent of people washed their hands with soap after defecation.

    A man washing his hands

    Even more alarmingly is the discovery that only about 14 per cent of people wash their hands with soap after cleaning a child’s faeces.

    This poses a serious public-health risk bearing in mind that every year, Nigeria loses over 150,000 children from diarrhoea alone, largely caused by unsafe water, sanitation & hygiene practices.

    A figure equivalent to a big passenger aircraft crashing every day.

    According to UNICEF, improvements in hygiene must supplement access to water and sanitation, or children will continue to fall victim to easily preventable diseases like diarrhoea.

    It has been shown that regular hand-washing with soap after using toilets, after changing children’s nappies and before eating or handling food saves more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention. It can reduce deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.

    Source: The Guardian Nigeria

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