The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said less than forty per cent of health facilities in Nigeria have hand washing facilities with soap and water accessible to both patients and staff.
Zaid Jurji, UNICEF Chief of Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, disclosed this at a European Union Niger Delta Water Project media dialogue organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Port Harcourt.
The figure 33.6 emanated from the 2018 National Outcomes Routine Mapping, NORM, survey conducted by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with UNICEF and implemented by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
Jurji noted that NORM survey was conducted to know whether the trend of water and sanitation in the country is improving or not.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the EU Niger Delta Water project covered Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo is aimed at ensuring access to water and sanitation by the populace.
While x-raying NORM’s findings on WASH in health facilities, Jurji noted that 43.2 per cent of health facilities have functional water supply within their premises.
The WASH specialist on sanitation pointed out that only 37.1per cent of the facilities have one usable toilet or latrine within their premises used by patients and their families.
He added that 24 per cent of such facilities have a separate toilet or latrine compartment for males and females.
He said: “4.5 per cent of the facilities have their latrine cleaned at least once daily.
“Furthermore, 29.1 per cent of the facilities have one usable improved toilet or latrine that is accessible to Persons Living with Disabilities, PLWD”. he said.
Jurji who decried poor WASH situation in health facilities said the figures were disturbing as patients and family members that visits hospitals could contact one disease or the other while accessing the facilities.
He however urged the government and management of various healthcare centres across the country to prioritise the WASH initiative in their various facilities to ensure quality healthcare delivery.
Jurji emphasised that no hospital could function optimally without access to improved water supply, good toilet facilities as well as hand washing facilities, describing WASH as key to quality healthcare services.