Expert Highlights Importance of Hygiene in Health Care
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A member of the Global Hygiene Council, Dr. Nneoma Idika has said that hygiene promotion is a significant component of global health care delivery and applauded the various hygiene promotion initiatives by the anti-germs protection brand, Dettol, in Nigeria. She commended Reckitt Benckiser for its hygiene-focused corporate social responsibility initiatives on the platform of its flagship Dettol brand being implemented mostly as contact programmes with new mothers and children across the country.
Idika's views were contained in a presentation titled, 'Dettol's Contribution to Health and Hygiene in its 50 years in Nigeria', made during the scientific session at the just-ended 54th Annual General Conference and Delegates' Meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in Benin City, Edo State.
According to her, some of the hygiene-focused initiatives carried out by the company include reaching over three million children from 1,000 schools in Nigeria especially in Lagos, Oyo and Kano States and Abuja who were taught the six essential steps of hand washing. The hygiene lesson, she noted, has enabled many Nigerians especially children to stay protected against germs which are the causes of death in persons under five years of age.
She disclosed further that among other initiatives, were participation in the annual World Health Day, conduct of a memorability test for school children on hand washing, sponsored research studies on hygiene and campaigns promoting hygiene lessons and messages among Nigerians and millions of homes.
"Over 1000 public and private schools have been touched in the last three years in collaboration with state governments through the Universal Basic Education boards while 1,152,745 new mums in 2,053 hospitals in 44 cities have been reached since 2009", she revealed.
The expert, while stressing the importance of hygiene promotion to society, pointed out that hygiene has become increasingly important to public health policy makers as a low cost illness reduction strategy.
While appealing to Nigerians to imbibe hygiene culture anywhere they are, she informed that common hygiene behaviours like frequent hand washing and bathing with soap and water among others could improve cleanliness and lead to good health. "Hygiene practice in the home environment and hospital plays an important role in preventing infection transmission like common cold, influenza, gastroenteritis, diarrhoeal infections and so on," Idika said.
The Global Hygiene Council member, who corroborated her assertions with facts and figures, said there were several empirical studies that lent credence to the association between hygiene and reduction in rates of infection. According to her, some studies have shown that hand washing with soap in particular has reduced diarrhoeal diseases by 50 per cent while germicides have also caused reduction in vaginal candidiosis significantly.
She said studies have also shown a reduction in bacterial population in water for bathing by Dettol antiseptic liquid in comparison with local purification agents like alum, lime, salt, potash alum and Moringa Alovera seeds.
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