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Health Crisis: Nigeria Ranks 2nd In Open Defecation

Nigeria has been ranked second among countries practising open defecation globally, according to the United Nations Children Fund.

UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku made this known at a Two-Day Media Dialogue in Calabar State yesterday.

The theme of the dialogue “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” is aimed at creating awareness to end the habit by 2025.

According to him, findings from the 2018 Water sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping survey reveals that 24 per cent of the population, about 47 million people, practise open defecation.

“This campaign is trying to see what we can do not to be in the number one category of open category. There is need to create awareness about Clean Nigeria, Use the Toilet campaign and mobilise resources to sustain the national movement.”

Njoku, however, called for behavioural change and policy reform through community dialogue, advocacy and engagement with policymakers.

He added that it was also important to drive cross-sector collaborations, especially with the private sector to improve investment in the sanitation sector.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Enugu, Mr Ibrahim Conteh said that by 2030, Nigeria should be able to achieve adequate sanitation hygiene while also paying adequate attention to the needs of women and girls.

Conteh said stakeholders must, however, join forces towards improving adequate sanitation facilities in the country.

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