The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), says it is supporting the Nigerian government in developing guidelines for hygiene Promotion in Primary Health Care facilities across the country.
It also said it is currently working with the Federal Ministry of Health to upgrade the guidelines for the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) in health Care facilities to cover secondary and tertiary health care facilities.
The Chief of WASH, UNICEF Nigeria representative by Job Ominyi disclosed this on Thursday at the Launch of WASH in health Care facilities workshop in Abuja.
According to Ominyi, UNICEF has also supported the Federal Government in the establishment of the technical working group on WASH in Primary Health Care facilities and also the development of technical guidelines for hygiene promotion that will aid the construction of WASH facilities in Primary Health Care centers.
He said the current coronavirus pandemic coupled with the resurgence of other health crisis such as the nationwide outbreaks of cholera is a stark reminder of the need for essential WASH supplies and services in hospitals, clinics and birthing and nutrition centers to prevent diseases and ensure quality patient care.
He said the most effective and immediate action must be to ensure adequate WASH services in health care facilities to prevent and control infections, improve the quality of care and protect practitioners and healthcare seekers from the growing but avoidable health crisis in the country.
He said it is in this context that a recent global call to action was issued by the UN Secretary General to raise awareness of the critical issue among UN agencies, partner organisations and members stated.
He said the two key objectives at the global level is that by the end of 2022, 60% of all health facilities globally and in each SDG region have atleast basic WASH services.
“By 2025, 80% of Health facilities have basic WASH services, and that by 2030, 100% of facilities have such services”
He said Nigeria’s Coverage now is an abysmal 4% requiring a process of 56% to meet the target.
Ominyi also said “by the end of 2022, advanced levels of services have defined and monitored in countries where universal basic services have already been achieved adding that by 2030, advanced levels of services should be achieved for all in atleast 80% of these countries”
He said in Nigeria, advanced levels now are 0% requiring a progress of 80% by 2030 to meet the target.
Ominyi said UNICEF is enthusiastic and committed to collaborating with stakeholders and partners to support Nigeria’s effort to realise Universal access to WASH in health Care facilities.