Diarrhoea kills 194,000 children yearly in Nigeria – UNICEF


water-400x300UNICEF has revealed that lack of clean toilet remains one of the leading causes of illness and death among children.

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According to the report released by UNICEF and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri, Nigeria, it was estimated that diarrhoea kills about 194,000 children under five every year and in addition, respiratory infections kill another 240,000.

The report said that, these are largely preventable with improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene.

It further said, globally, UNICEF is supporting 50 countries including Nigeria to implement Community Approaches to Total Sanitation such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CATS) aimed at empowering communities to identify their sanitation challenges and take necessary actions to end open defecation.

According to a joint UNICEF and World Health Organization’s report of 2012, it is estimated that 34 million Nigerians practice open defecation and Nigeria is amongst top 5 countries in the world with the highest number of people defecating in the open.

UNICEF country representative, Ibrahim Fall said “Community Led Total Sanitation aims to make all communities free of open defecation by focusing on social and behaviour change and the use of affordable, appropriate technologies. The emphasis is on the sustainable use of sanitation facilities rather than the construction of infrastructure, and the approach depends on the engagement of members of the community ranging from individuals, to schools, to traditional leaders. Communities use their own capacities to attain their objectives and take a central role in planning and implementing improved sanitation.”

In Nigeria, UNICEF in partnership with relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as donors such as European Union and UK Aid, is supporting implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (LTS) in 30 States, and over 2 million people living in more than 3,000 open defecation free communities are estimated to be using toilets as a result.

With continuous support from governments and other partners in scaling up this approach, more Nigerians will live in open defecation free communities.

“Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is simple and an effective way of improving access to sanitation while also paving the way for their improved health”, says Ibrahima Fall, UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria.

The statement further said that the approach has been found to be appropriate and the best way to ensure improved and sustained access to sanitation is to empower communities to provide toilets for themselves. No external support from Governments or other agencies can provide toilets to all un-served people in the country.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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