WATER MINISTER SIGNS MOU WITH HEALTH MINISTER ON THE ROLL OUT OF HEALTHWASH PROGRAMME TOWARDS ENDING OPEN DEFECATION.
The Hon. Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulieman H. Adamu FNSE, FAEng has signed an MOU with the Dr Osagie Ehanire Honourable Minister of Health towards a collaborative programme for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Federal health Insituitions across the country. The signing took place at the Conference Room of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources GARKI Abuja on 13th March, 2023.
Speaking at the event the Water Minister noted that the WASH Poverty Diagnostic Report released in 2017 which showed the deplorable state of WASH services in the country and the urgent need to change the narrative. The report which was released at the early years of this administration triggered many subsequent sectorial interventions to address the shortcoming. Some of these initiatives include, development of the National Action Plan for the Revalitization of the Wash Sector, Presidential Declaration of State of Emergency on the sector, the Partnership for Expanded Programme on WASH ( PEWASH), Institutionalization of the Wash National Routine Outcome Mapping ( WASHNORM), the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign, Sustainable Urban and Rural Wash (SURWASH) programme and development of Road Map for Hand Hygeine for All among others.
Speaking further, Engr Adamu noted that these high level initiatives clearly demonstrate the strong will of Federal Government towards reversing the narrative on Nigeria’s poor WASH indices.
The annual WASHNORM survey enables the measurement of progress towards meeting the SDG targets. This survey has therefore determined that primary health care facilities and those located in rural areas are more disadvantaged than secondary health care facilities and those located in urban centres.
The Health WASH Programme which is the basis of the MOU is designed to identify the WASH needs and bridge the WASH services gap across our health care facilities with focus on the primary health care facilities, Engr Adamu stated.
According to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, HEALTH WASH programme is expected to serve as a catalyst to spur investment in health care facilities leading to universal wash coverage in Health care centers. The MOU details the obligation of the parties, the frameworks for the programme coordination, delivery as well as financing, monitoring and evaluation. He emphasised that the MOU is being bequeathed to the next Administration to sustain the progress done in the WASH sector and to meet International and local obligations.
Similarly the Hon. Minister of Health Dr. Ehanire stressed the overall importance of Health WASH in the health sector. According to him 60 per cent of infant mortality is attributed to diarrhoea and malaria. This according to Dr Ehanire has to do with poor sanitation, poor quality of water and stagnant dirty water. With the signing of the the Health WASH programme the hope is to have a beter ranking at the global scale as well as provide potable, usable water in the primary health care centres across the country.
Earlier at the event, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, mni , in her opening remarks noted that the collaboration between the two Ministries will help in addressing the problems of poor water sanitation and hygeine services in healthcare facilities for the general wellbeing of the populace. According to the Global Burden of Dieases Projects, diarrhoea and enteric burden of disease attributed to poor wash is more than 70 per cent and inequitably borne by poor women and children.
Mrs Walson-Jack also stressed the Ministry’s commitment in achieving an open defecation free Nigeria by 2025 as well as increasing sustainable access to basic WASH services for all Nigerians by 2030.
Kenechukwu Offie (Mrs) FNIPR,
Director Press and Public Relations