The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says only 33.6 per cent of health facilities in Nigeria have hand washing facilities with soap and water accessible to both patients and staff.
UNICEF Chief of WASH, Zaid Jurji disclosed this in Port Harcourt during an 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.
The figure 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.
While x-raying NORM’s findings on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in health facilities, Jurji noted that 43.2 per cent of health facilities have functional water supply within their premises, however, only 37.1 per 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.
“4.5 per cent of the facilities have their latrine cleaned at least once daily, he said.
“Furthermore, 29.1 per cent of the facilities have one usable improved toilet or latrine that is accessible to Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD)”.
Jurji who decried poor WASH situation in health facilities said the figures were disturbing as patients and family members that visit hospitals could contact one disease or the other while accessing the facilities.
Further, he 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.
UNICEF Chief of WASH 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.