Home Health & Food Healthy practice will prevent diseases – Stakeholders

Healthy practice will prevent diseases – Stakeholders

by James Davies

Lara Adejoro

Stakeholders in the health sector have called for sustained hygiene and behavioural change adopted in curbing the spread of COVID-19 to prevent other infections in the country.

Speaking at the close-out ceremony of the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition Phase Two Project in Abuja on Monday, they also said the health promotion activities and strategies developed for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic should be sustained.

The HBCC 2 is a Population Services International Nigeria project tasked with transforming lives through hygiene.

The coalition is a task force of charity organisations, United Nations organisations, and Academic partners supported by Unilever and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

The project which leveraged the know-how and networks of all implementing partners to promote handwashing and good hygiene messages was implemented in collaboration with the Federal and State Ministries of Health in Kano, Nasarawa, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory, and aims at improving adherence to COVID-19 prevention guidelines for prevention and building vaccines.

The project which began on April 1, 2022, will end on March 31, 2023.

The Director, Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Boladale Alonge said, “It is worthy to state that a five-step programme to design, implement and ensure sustained behaviour change was developed during the implementation of the HBCC 2 which provided support to the ministry to develop, disseminate and distribute social and behaviour change materials on COVID-19 preventive measures.

“During the implementation, a vaccine locator app was also developed to assist the general public in locating the nearest vaccine sites closest to them. We may not need to use facemasks, but it is important that every eligible person is immunised, and we sustain the behavioural changes in control of COVID-19, we have to continue to maintain hygienic practices and health promotional information to prevent other infections.”

The Chief of Party and Head of Programmes, Dr. Fatima Bunza, said the media intervention programme through the use of the media can be used in preventing and curbing the spread of other infections.

Bunza said, “The focus has been on COVID-19 preventive measures and promotion of COVID-19 vaccination uptake. COVID-19 is still very much around and we should not rest on our guards, we should continue to observe the preventive measures and for the health systems, we should continue to use the resources we have and adapt when needed.”

On her part, the Director, Head Promotion Divison of the FMoH, Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi said maintaining the hygiene and behavioural changes adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic will help to reduce the burden of diseases in the country.

“We are winning the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and people are encouraged to adhere to all the preventive measures against other diseases.

“So, when coughing use a handkerchief or cough into your elbow. When you are in a crowded place, maintain a distance because you only know your health status but you don’t know that of others, and wash your hands frequently.”

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