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Nigeria to host World Toilet Summit

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By Timothy Akintola

Open defecation, a healthcare menace that has ravaged the globe.

The idea that every country thrives off a well-implemented and standard healthcare sector is a widely accepted phenomenon, as it effectively ensures the safeguarding and satisfactory handling of people with health complications. Without doubt, Nigeria’s health sector is one that has witnessed immense underdevelopment overtime and thus, there has been a paramount need for the facilitation of a functioning healthcare system. As a result of this underdevelopment in the health sector, numerous organizations have urged for a more reliable and efficient healthcare sector to enhance its services in the country.

According to reports, millions of Nigerians still lack basic access to sanitation facilities. Some months ago, the United Nations International Children’s Fund, in collaboration with the World Health Organization organized a programme titled “Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa 2000 to 2020: Five Years into the SDGs” published a survey in 2020, where it was indicated that Nigeria was leading the remaining African countries on open defecation and non-availability of basic hygiene services.

Nigeria among WCAR rated countries with most open defecation cases.

This released result indicated that over 160 million Nigerians were victims of inefficient sanitation services between 2015 and 2020. This report further noted that only 43 percent of the Nigerian population had access to safe sanitation services. Also, only 22 percent of Nigerians had access to safe drinking water. Nigeria also recorded the highest percentage with lack of basic access to personal hygiene. In indicating the how deep this issue has ravaged the African continent, the report stated that Nigeria, Ethiopia, Niger, Madagascar and Congo topped the chart of countries with most cases of open defecation.

Globally, WCAR accounted for 14 percent of open defecation, with eight countries having more than 5 million people and 20 percent of the African population in 12 of its 24 countries indulging in the act. India ranked first in the list of countries with cases of open defecation, with Nigeria, a close second, having an approximation of 47 million Nigerians not having any access to basic toilet facilities, leading to an increased indulgence in the practice of open defecation.

This menace puts poor communities at public health risks.

As a result of the underdevelopment and badly managed sanitation system in the global scene, the worldwide sanitation issues have immensely affected approximately three to six billion people worldwide. Due to this issue, the Nigerian government is working hard to ensure that through the impending World Toilet Summit, which is scheduled to hold in the country’s capital, Abuja, it would assist the global scene in making a difference, as well as prompting countries around the world to work together to eradicate this health menace.

The poorest communities are intensely put at huge consequential risks of public health, environmental and economic problems, as a result of this healthcare deficiency. The persistence of this sanitation crisis means that millions of individuals are still being devastatingly affected. In a bid to curb this healthcare problem that has ravaged the globe and improve sanitation across the country, the Nigerian government established a campaign aimed at salvaging the issues around open defecation by 2025.

World Toilet Summit innovation to help mobilize for needed support.

Stakeholders, whist speaking ahead of the Word Toilet Summit, have however noted that this innovation will play a poignant role in creating avenues for more resources, expertise and innovations that will help in ending the menace of open defecation. This summit, which is to be hosted in Nigeria is posed to enhance the mobilization of high-level support from politics and private sector stakeholders around the world, in a bid to achieve the set theme and goals for this year.

Related Link

UNICEF: Website

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