As part of efforts to end maternal and child mortality in the Gwagalada Area Council of the FCT, no fewer than 35 health workers drawn from the 22 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), and 13 traditional birth attendants from ten wards of the area council have been trained on hygiene promotion practices.
Speaking during the three-day training, the President, Golden Change for Concerned Youth Forum, Mr Williams Ngwakwe, said poor access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by women and children necessitated the training which had supports from the Child Health Foundation, USA.
Quoting the WHO Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health study, Ngwakwe said improving hand-washing culture among birth attendants and access to clean surfaces can reduce the risk of infections, sepsis and death for infants and mothers by up to 25 percent.
He said clean birthing kits for cutting the umbilical cord can reduce cord site infections, while improved drinking water sanitation also leads to improved child growth and development.
Furthermore, he said the group had distributed birthing kits and packs of vitamin A to all participants to support maternal health at the PHCs, saying that hand washing materials were also given.
The President stressed the need to break down all barriers to safer access to WASH, saying lack of alignment between policies acts as a barrier to the integration of WASH into health strategies and programmes.
“Women and children must not be left behind, as part of the national voice for women’s health, we are committed to advocating for the specific needs of women and girls to be considered of primary importance when improving WASH facilities.
“By integrating WASH into new and existing frameworks for health, this generation has the potential to create lasting change for women and children and only then can we truly ensure that no one is left behind.”
Dr Adeniran Adeyemi, Director, Primary Health Care, Gwagwalada Area Council, noted that some regular hygiene practices may be considered good habit by the society, while the neglect of hygiene can be considered disgusting, disrespectful, or threat to life.
Adeyemi said the prevention and control of Covid-19 worldwide is hinged on promotion of some hygiene practices, noting that Health education plays an all important role in community healthcare service delivery.
“This helps in keeping both the healthcare service providers healthy and away from contracting infectious diseases and also promote good health in the community by driving-in the step by step, all forms good hygiene practices.
“In community healthcare service delivery, some of the common hygiene practices include; Regular hand washing, Use of face/nose masks, proper waste disposal, quarantine/isolation of infectious patients among others.”
The director added that the training would improve health practices in the grassroots in delivering healthcare services, saying it would be a thing of joy for it to be replicated in all parts of the country.