By Correspondent in Lokoja
The various nationwide medical outreaches, recently conducted under the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD), revealed that most of the ailments diagnosed in Nigeria were due to poor hygiene.
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, disclosed this on Saturday at the flagg-off of the 2021 NYSC National Environmental Sanitation Exercise, tagged: ”Clean Environment/Good Hygiene: Panacea For Good Health and Long Life”, at Kogi International Market Lokoja.
Represented by the Represented by Kogi State Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Olayiwola Lasaki, the director-general noted that environmental sanitation had been recognised globally as one of the key requirements for prevention of diseases and their escalation to epidemic proportion.
Ibrahim stressed the need to step up the enlightenment of the general public especially the rural dwellers on the health risks of poor hygiene and the dire need to particularly focus on the prevention of food contamination, water, and the entire environment.
”To achieve this, every member of the community will have to be mobilised for participation in the exercise, which will feature sensitisation, disease surveillance and report of outbreak.
”Indeed, the call to action will promote cooperation and reduce indifference and ignorance. We can no longer afford to be indifferent to anything that will be detrimental to public health and safety,”, he said.
Ibrahim assured that thescheme would continue to offer healthcare and other services,including environmental protection, to Nigerians.
He also stressed that effort should be made to save many more lives by empowering the people with adequate information on good grooming and environmental hygiene.
According to him, the NYSC sensitisation efforts will focus on regular environmental sanitation on fortnight basis, clean food and water intake, proper waste disposals, food and water protection from contamination, regular hand wash, among others.
He added that the public would also be educated on decontamination of foods due to exposure, environment disinfection, handling of toxic materials, bush burning, pollution and tree planting to support health ecosystem.
”It is heart warming to note that communities that benefited from the recent NYSC HIRD medical outreaches have been sharing there testimonies on its enormous impacts.
”I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on our oars as we continue to offer health and other services, including environmental protection.
”I am particularly hopeful about the prospects of the exercise, because with regular sanitation, malaria and other related diseases will be reduced to the barest minimum,”Ibrahim said.
He, therefore, commended the State Governments, traditional rulers, community leaders and other relevant stakeholders in the country for supporting the noble cause.
Earlier, Mr Mustapha Abdulsalam, Assistant Director,Transport, NYSC Abuja, said that the essence of the exercise was to sensitise the general public on environmental hygienes.
”We want to make sure that every community is clean and neat to avoid outbreak of diseases, because cleanliness is next to godliness”, he said.
Abdulsalam, therefore,urged the people to always imbibe the culture of maintaining clean environment and personal hygienes to prevent out break of diseases.
Some of the corps members, who spoke at the occasion expressed joy of participating in the National exercise and commended the management of the scheme for initiating the exercise.
Our Correspondent reports that the corps members engaged in sweeping, cleaning of drainages, waste evacuation, cutting of grasses, among others.