Children dying of water-borne diseases in Nigeria – UNICEF

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday lamented rising death of children under five years in Nigeria from preventable water-borne diseases.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on media networking in Otuoke, Ogbia, Bayelsa State, UNICEF said apart from neonatal-related cases, about 50 per cent of deaths were caused by lack of access to drinkable water.

The workshop on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) was organised by the European Union (EU), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Bayelsa State Government.

UNICEF’s WASH specialist, Martha Hoodia, in her presentation said, access to water and proper sanitation could reduce poverty through decrease in morbidity, mortality and reduction in health expenditures, among others.

She said EU, UNICEF and the Bayelsa State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), had been developing various innovative approaches to end water-related deaths in rural communities.

She said UNICEF and its partners with effective knowledge management produced learning-based approaches and evidence-based advocacy and programmes to stop the menace in communities.

Another expert, Ijeoma Onuoha, said the workshop was designed to sensitise and update media practitioners with accurate and updated information on reportage of WASH related issues.

Ijeoma urged the media to help UNICEF and EU to properly disseminate information especially on water-borne diseases and also report ongoing efforts to tackle the problem.

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