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Hand washing key to preventing pandemics – Minister

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said that creating the habit of hand washing is critical to curbing outbreaks of diseases and pandemics....

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said that creating the habit of hand washing is critical to curbing outbreaks of diseases and pandemics.

Speaking Friday at an event to commemorate the 2021 Global Hand Washing Day in Abuja, the minister said hand hygiene promotion remained a critical element of an integrated approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery.

He said the theme for this year’s celebration: “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together”, was a call to action to maximise the opportunity presented by the current pandemic to address the lack of investment in hygiene and put in place policies and programmes to promote hand hygiene.

The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hassan Musa, said, “We know that hand washing with soap is key to reducing the burden of many diseases which pose chronic challenges to the health of the population and development. It contributes to preventing and mitigating the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, Lassa fever and COVID-19, and will remain an essential prevention measure while COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out.

“Hand washing with soap will remain a ‘first-line’ defence in preventing outbreaks and reducing the toll of both current and future pandemics.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased rate of hand washing; it is important that this behaviour is sustained and ingrained as a habit.”

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