The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, on Monday in Akwa, urged health managers across the country to imbibe proper hygiene, sanitation practices to prevent health facilities acquired infections.
Mainga Banda, UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH Specialist, made the call at a media dialogue on WASH organised by UNICEF in collaboration with Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
Mss Banda, while presenting a paper tagged: “Water, sanitation and hygiene situation in Nigeria: Its critical role in health, nutrition and education,’ said that health facilities posed significant health risks to patients, health workers and nearby communities.
According to her, this may be due to lack of water, sanitation and proper hygiene practices.
She added that large number of people in the verge of treating one health condition contacted one diseases or the other in health institutions.
Mss Banda defined health facilities acquired infections as infections acquired while receiving treatment for another condition in health setting identified such acquired infection as Sepsis.
The WASH expert noted that WASH was critical and important in health facilities for quality healthcare delivery.
However, she described health facilities acquired infections as a multi-sector problem that required a comprehensive strategy to address.
According to her, there is need for WASH improvement to prevent emergence and transmission of health acquired infections.
“Lack of water, functional toilets and hand washing facilities in healthcare settings will pose significant health risks to patients, health workers and nearby communities.
“Therefore, hospital management, government and other health stakeholders must intensify efforts to institutionalise WASH in health facilities across the country,” she said.
Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Communication Specialist, identified objectives of dialogue to include creation of visibility for WASH interventions, donors and to generate human interest stories for publication.
Mr Njoku said that it was an opportunity for journalists to develop human angle stories that would encourage Nigerian government to increase investments in WASH interventions.