Why Nigeria Needs to Pay Attention to Global Handwashing Day

Every year on October 15th, the Global Handwashing Day, millions of people gather in seven continents of the world to recognize the hygienic act of proper handwashing with soap and water.

To this end, antibacterial soaps and international brands like Dettol have been known to put together programmes, campaigns and events to motivate and mobilize Nigerians to improve their handwashing habits.

With these efforts, every year, over 4 million young children are saved from killer diseases caused by germs, through the act of proper hand hygiene.


Even with these efforts, Nigeria loses 150,000 children yearly to fatal infectious disease due to poor hand hygiene. If Nigeria takes handwashing serious and Nigerian parents adopt and teach their children the simple act of proper handwashing, at least 100,000 out of these children will be saved.

A nation’s future is only as bright as the promise of its children, as they determine the next wave of social, technological and economical advancement, therefore the quality of life of the country’s children should be of utmost importance to policy makers and government.

Furthermore, considering the high risks of diarrheal diseases and infections amongst Nigeria’s population as a result of poverty, lack of clean water, contaminated food and unhygienic practices, it is of great importance that the country wakes up to these dangers that something radical is done to protect the citizens.

Marketing Director, RB Nigeria, Aliza Leferink; Director, Child Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Jumai Mohammed and National Coordinator, Food Safety & Quality Programme, Mr Fubara Chuku during a symbolic handwashing exercise organised by Dettol Nigeria

Being able to successfully lead a clean and hygienic lifestyle through the simple act of handwashing may be the difference between a child ending up in a morgue before the age of 10 or growing up to finally become that doctor, lawyer, engineer or creative genius.

Imagine that a cultural shift in national hygiene consciousness and the practice of handwashing could be the difference between a nation pulsing with hope for the future and one that is stagnant, bogged down with diseases and deaths, when others are moving forward.

It is imperative that every family unit in Nigeria be made aware of the importance of proper handwashing and hygiene practices, and that a simple bar of antibacterial soap like Dettol could save one from expensive hospital visits or worse still, untimely death!

Prevention, they always say is better than cure.

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