Home News Cholera: UNICEF Demands Access To Improved Clean Water, Sanitation

Cholera: UNICEF Demands Access To Improved Clean Water, Sanitation

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for an urgent and improved access to clean water and sanitation in many areas following the cholera outbreak in the country.

An estimated 15 deaths have been recorded in Lagos as of Saturday.

The Chief of UNICEF Lagos Field Office, Ms Celine Lafoucrier, while responding to the outbreak, advocated a collective approach to combating the ravaging cholera.

She recommended that communities establish systems that promote key hygiene practices and transform them into a cultural norm.

She declared the need for state-led educational campaigns on cholera prevention to protect children and the population at large. Lafoucrier said, “recurrent cholera outbreaks critically affect children and populations at large. These vulnerable groups face substantial health risks, particularly those under five, who are prone to severe dehydration and higher mortality rates.

“These outbreaks underscore the urgent need for improved access to clean water and sanitation in many areas. “Despite the state government’s efforts to provide water to its population, the current outbreak demonstrates the need for an urgent government focus on ensuring the water provided to the population is clean and risk-free.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions are fundamental in preventing and responding to cholera epidemics. Safe water supplies, hygienic sanitation, and effective water management are key elements in this effort.

“Increasing access to safe drinking water, improving sanitation and hygiene, and improving water management can prevent almost one-tenth of the global disease burden. “Addressing the challenges of cholera outbreaks requires a deliberate focus of state policies to provide high-standard water and sanitation facilities, as well as strengthened healthcare systems capable of responding to the demand in times of outbreaks and state-led educational campaigns on cholera prevention to protect children and the population at large.

“Investing in drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and water resource management systems is economically beneficial. Each dollar invested yields up to eight dollars in benefits.” She added that, “Safer water could annually prevent 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhoea, 500,000 deaths from malaria, 860,000 child deaths from malnutrition, and 10 million people from serious illnesses like lymphatic filariasis and trachoma.”

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