Written by Austine ELEMUE

Helpline promotes hygiene among students, teachers in FCT

As part of efforts to promote hygiene among students and teachers of public schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Helpline Foundation for the Needy has held an enlightenment programme on personal hygiene in Government Secondary School, Buzun Kure in Kuje Area Council.

According to the organisers of the programme in collaboration with FCT Universal Basic Education Board, they said the event was part of activities to mark Global Hand Wash, as over 50 students were taught the basic techniques of hand washing.

The NGO, said the project tagged; "Our Hands, Our Future" was aimed at promoting hygiene among students and teaching staff.

Programme Director of the Foundation, Ms. Jane Williams, said the programme is the second edition in the series of projects initiated to sensitize teachers and students on environmental diseases and personal hygiene.

Williams, however, regretted that every year, 1.4 million children die from diarrhea or pneumonia, infections cause 15 percent of newborn deaths, noting that hand washing with soap is an effective way to prevent these losses.

According to her, "Regular hand washing can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by nearly half and respiratory infections by approximately 25 percent. Good hygiene is necessary for good nutrition, particularly for children, and to prevent the spread of common diseases like colds, flu and other communicable diseases".

Speaking in the same vein, Senior Programme Officer, Ms. Omozele Ojeme, noted that unhealthy environmental condition increases the risk of both non-communicable and infectious diseases which is reflected in the strong integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals, while stressing the importance of regular hand washing.

Earlier, the Director of FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Adamu Noma, commended the NGO for staging the global hand washing awareness campaign among students and teachers of public schools in the Territory, while assuring that the FCT Administration will continue to provide basic amenities in public to promote healthy environment.

In an interview with our correspondent, the Headmaster of LEA Primary School Buzun Kure, Mr. Audu Alhassan, also appreciated Helpline Foundation for identifying the remote school to carry out the awareness campaign on basic hygiene, while appealing for the provision of suitable toilet facilities such as the water cistern as some students still practice open defecation.

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