Wife of Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi, has called for proper hand hygiene with soap and water as well as the use of alcohol-based sanitizer to reduce potentially harmful microorganisms on hands that cause illness to human beings.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi made the call during the event marking this year’s Global Hand Washing Day, themed: “Hand Hygiene for All”, which was held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, on Thursday.
The Enugu governor’s wife who disclosed that the event was dedicated to the advocacy of hand washing with soap “as an easy, effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives”, stressed that the personal hygiene exercise has become imperative with the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
“This is a call for all society to scale up hand hygiene, which is the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs”, she said, adding that “we must work towards universal access and practice of hand washing with soap for now and for a healthy future”.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi who maintained that the hand hygiene is for all, irrespective of gender, age or position, explained that “for us to reduce mortality rate, we must educate our communities on proper hand washing in order to reduce the number of people with weakened immune system and also reduce respiratory illness like cold and absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in school children”.
While reemphasizing the need for habitual washing of hands with soap and running water, the Enugu governor’s wife enjoined all, especially mothers to inculcate proper hand hygiene in their children starting from the age of one.
“Do you know that 1cm of your hand holds 1500 bacteria…? Do you also know that 2-10 million bacteria lurk between your fingertips and the number of germs on it doubles after using toilet…?
“As schools are about to resume fully, please encourage effective infection control practice such as thorough hand washing at home and keep your children informed about things they can do to discourage the spread of infections. Let’s motivate and mobilize our loved ones to improve on their hand hygiene for its benefit”, she advised.
Delivering his lecture at the event, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ikechukwu Obi, harped on the need for grassroots approach to hygiene and sanitization, pointing out that community involvement in this aspect of health measures would assist in curtailing the spread of diseases.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Mr. Anthony Dubem Onyia, expressed delight at Mrs. Ugwuanyi’s commitment in sensitizing the public on the imperative of proper and regular hand washing for healthy living.
In her remark, the UNICEF representative on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Ms. Mamita Bora Thakkar, also commended the governor wife’s initiatives and passion for the wellbeing of the people.