Home News Nigeria loses 100,000 Children to Diarrhea annually

Nigeria loses 100,000 Children to Diarrhea annually

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By Ndidi Chukwu

Lack of access to a safe water, basic sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria has increased the number of children dying from diarrhea to 100,000 thousand annually and 52,000 newborns died from sepsis, tetanus and other infections linked to dirty water and lack of hygiene in 2013 alone. The need to improve inter-sector collaboration between the Ministries of Water resources and Health to eliminate U-5 mortality rates caused by lack of access to clean water is the “target” WaterAid Nigeria as it joins the rest of the world in commemoration of this year’s World Water Day, to be celebrate on the 22nd of March.

As the United Nation is deciding on the Sustainable Development Goal to succeed the MDGs from September 2015, WaterAid is calling for a dedicated goal to deliver water sanitation to everyone, and everywhere by 2030, its Nigeria’s Country representative Dr. Micheal Ojoh told a press conference in Abuja.

Lack of access to clean water in hospitals and health clinics ‎increase baby’s chances of dying in the first month as the NGO’s findings indicates that a 29 percent of hospitals in Nigeria did not have access to clean water and the same percentage do not have access to safe toilets which has “increased” the rate of Diarrhoea amongst children younger than five years in Nigeria.

“The nation’s poor levels of access to water and sanitation contributes immensely to under five mortality ration, and children in the country die from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation” Ojo said

This translates that the fact that every minute Nigeria loses one child due to avoidable deaths caused by “poor healthy start” Ojo noted on Friday. Its campaign, “WaterAid Healthy Start” seeks to address the devastating impact that lack of safe water and sanitation has on children in developing countries as its next strategic plan to run from 2015-2020.

“Annually, nearly half a million babies die in the first month because they are born into unhygienic conditions and one in five deaths of newborn babies in the developing world are caused by infectious strongly linked dirty water” Ojo observed

Lack of access to water and sanitation are fundamental human rights and yet 748 million (about 1 in 10 people) in the world do not have access and 2.5 billion (1 in 3 people) lack access to sanitation. In Nigeria, over 60 million people (36 percent of the population) lack access to improved water sources and over 120 million (72 percent of the population) lack access to improved sanitation

WaterAid said the Nigerian health Sector over the years has focused on treatment of diseases rather than prevention “Water Sanitation and Hygiene has not been seen as a part of health programme’s remit or responsibility. This has meant that even when written into global or national health strategies, increase in WASH‎ services has not been given priority” said the country representative in Nigeria.

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