By G9ija

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday joined the global world in celebrating Global Hand washing Day, urging stepped up awareness campaign on the importance of hand washing to children of primary schools in the state.

Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde who spoke at the celebrations held at St. Peter’s Anglican Nur / Pry school, Ikeja, charged students to become agent of positive change of the environment.

He said the objective is to recognize that people of all levels should work together to inspire behavioural change in all ages towards frequent hand washing, in particular, at critical times through community awareness.

“We believe the awareness and culture of hand washing should start from this tender age – “catch them young”. You are implored to imbibe and always remember this act, and take it home to your parents as well as your community at large,” he said.

He added that the year 2022 celebration represents a critical reminder for Lagosians and children in particular, stressing that the state government has taken the lead role in public awareness and campaigns on hand washing to reduce and prevent the spread of diseases among her citizenry.

He stressed that hand washing is the most effective mode of reducing the spread and keeping diseases at bay, adding that it is a simple act that rewards when it comes to keeping ourselves safe and healthy.

He added that it was also one of the key cornerstones of COVID-19 prevention, saying that children must practice hand washing at regular intervals, when their hands are dirty after playing, coughing, sneezing, after using the toilet, before eating and after touching animals.

“Regular washing of hands with soap and water after touching common surfaces such as doorknobs or handles, after coming back from visiting public places will keep one and others around safe” he added.

He said every 15th of October has been set aside to raise awareness and consciousness on the importance of hand washing to healthy lives.

The Guest speaker, Project Director, Community WASH initiatives, Engr. Sanni-Anibire spoke on the paper titled “UNITE FOR UNIVERSAL HAND HYGIENE” noted that it is mandatory for the children to wash their hands and that they must be great ambassadors of hand washing to prevent germs and unnecessary sickness.

She taught the children various songs and the practical steps and techniques of having a clean and hygienic hand washing.

Assistant Health Officer, SUBEB , Amusan Oluwatobi also demonstrated effective hand washing process and told the students to observe regular hand washing at all times.

He however urged the children to be Agents of change by taking the advocacy to their friends, family and their entire community.

He calls for continuous collaboration between SUBEB and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in all Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes, saying that the children should be carried along at all times

Head Environment, Ikeja Local Government commend the ministry for bringing hand washing culture to the children as it is important to catch them young.