AN NGO, ‘Women Development Association for Self Sustenance (WODASS)’ in partnership with WaterAid Nigeria, has urged the Bauchi State government to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake and hygiene campaigns.
Mr Ezekiel Sukumum, Programme officer, WODASS, made the call while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Bauchi.
Sukumum said there was a need for the state and local governments to improve response to COVID-19 and infectious diseases.
He explained that in 2021, 2,874 residents in some Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state were hospitalised as a result of frequent cholera outbreaks, with 42 deaths recorded.
Sukumum, therefore, urged the government to widen the scope of the hygiene behavior change campaign and COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
According to him, this includes hygiene education that focuses on key behaviors such as respiratory hygiene, handwashing, physical distancing, safe excreta disposal and water storage
“Ensure that routine sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are provided in communities and LGAS with poor access, especially those with endemic trends.
“Also provide these facilities in schools, healthcare centers and public places to support inclusive access to Water Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all,” he said.
Sukumum also called on the government to scale-up WaterAid’s Clean Family Campaign to all local government areas across the three senatorial zones and ensure personal and environmental hygiene in response.
“WaterAid recognises that good hygiene is a key component to achieving this milestone with success being underpinned by the strong foundation of the family unit changing behavior and adopting good hygiene practices.
“The campaign also seeks to influence the adoption of good hygiene behaviors at critical times by family units which will lead to improved wellbeing.
“It will also lead to a clean community, which in turn leads to a clean local government, clean state and ultimately a clean Nigeria,” he said.
Sukumum further urged the State Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Development Agency, traditional and religious leaders to promote COVID-19 vaccine uptake to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Programme officer also called for the review of the budget to adequately reflect prevention strategies for infectious diseases such as cholera, Lassa fever and COVID-19 and as well as ensure allocated funds were released.
Sukumum stressed the need to expand WASH services to low-income settings and urban slums both during the response and beyond with consideration to women, children and people with disabilities for infection prevention and control.(NAN)
KNTags: Ezekiel Sukumum WaterAid Nigeria WODASS