The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ibrahim Yusufu, weekend said more than 3.5 million children suffer from diarrheal disease in Nigeria as children less than 5 years are prone to such disease.
Yusuf stated this during the National Environmental Sanitation Day Commemoration in Abuja, with the theme: “Promoting sustainable waste management for a healthy environment, stop open dumping.”
Yusufu further stated that a large number of children die every year due to sanitation and hygiene enabled diseases.
“This is more apt and timely considering the critical role sanitation that hygiene plays in preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, lassa fever, COVID-19 virus and monkey pox virus.
He added that poor sanitation has been identified as being responsible for a significant percentage of preventable communicable diseases, particularly in developing countries, including Nigeria.
“It is a clarion call for every one of us to work together and leverage on lessons learned from response to COVID-19 to address the neglect of sanitation and hygiene as a major means of preventing and controlling transmission of sanitation & hygiene associated infectious diseases.
“The importance and benefit of creating awareness, behavioural change and institutionalisation of sanitation and hygiene practices among the citizens are our drivers in implementing this programme at this time,” he said.