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| Last Updated:22/04/2014

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Nigeria: 'Poor Sanitation Kills 440,000 Infants in Nigeria Yearly'

allAfrica, 19 April 204


The annual loss of 440, 000 infants who die due to diarrheal and respiratory infections in Nigeria have been attributed to the poor culture of sanitation by Nigerians.


This was revealed in an interview with LEADERSHIP Weekend by Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORCN), Mr. Augustine Ebisike.


Ebisike said the inability of Nigerians to maintain good hygiene in their homes has led to frequent cases of infections among young children.


He said malaria and diarrheal were ravaging Nigerians in millions, leaving thousands dead yearly.


Ebisike stressed that preventive health system was still a great challenge to city managers as well as individuals.


His words: "The problem is due to the failure of the various city authorities to cope with the mounting refuse heaps in various street corners.


"It is a common sight for one to see houses without latrines in both villages and urban centres, including Abuja. Public places such as motor parks, bus stations, markets and others are not any better."


Ebisike emphasised that "unless environmental sanitation is restored and vigorously implemented, Malaria cannot be rolled back.


He noted that data from the ministry of health from 1999 to 2013 pointed to increasing cases of deaths from diarrheal, malaria and respiratory infections.


To reduce child mortality in the country, Ebisike said the culture of effective sanitation must be imbibed and urged city and rural managers to wield the "big stick" to ensure compliance with health laws.


He expressed regrets that despite over 52 years of Nigeria's independence, the public health laws of colonial times were the only public health legislation still in use in the country.