UN REPORT SHOWS LACK OF HYGIENE FACILITIES IN SCHOOLS WORLDWIDE
Two out of five schools around the world lacked basic hand-washing facilities prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a World Health Organization-United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (WHO-Unicef) joint monitoring program (JMP) revealed in a statement on Thursday.
The findings are that 43% of schools globally lacked access to basic hand-washing with soap and water in 2019, the African News Agency (ANA) reported from Cape Town, South Africa over the weekend. According to the report, 818 million children are at increased risk of Covid-19 and other transmittable diseases due to the lack of hygiene facilities. More than one third of these children (295 million) are from sub-Saharan Africa. The impact that the coronavirus has had on nations has amplified the lack of basic human rights in most developing nations.
“Access to water, sanitation and hygiene services is essential for effective infection prevention and control in all settings, including schools," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.
Tedros said these services must be a major focus of government strategies for the safe reopening and operation of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also highlighted that governments seeking to control the spread of COVID-19 must balance the need for implementation of public health measures against the social and economic impact of lockdown measures.