74% of schools in Oyo lack access to basic sanitation services: UNICEF

74% of schools in Oyo lack access to basic sanitation services: UNICEF

According to UNICEF, a staggering 74% of schools in Oyo State lack access to basic sanitation services.

This alarming statistic was revealed by Emmanuel Orebiyi, a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Consultant at UNICEF’s Lagos office, during a Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Stakeholders’ Engagement held in Ibadan.

The event, organized by the Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) with technical assistance from UNICEF, aimed to commemorate the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Day in Oyo State.

During his presentation, Mr. Orebiyi highlighted that a staggering 91.4% of schools in Oyo State lack proper disposal mechanisms for menstrual hygiene waste.

He further emphasized that “a mere 0.4% of schools in the state provide free menstrual hygiene materials, such as pads.”

Mr. Orebiyi appealed for the intervention of various stakeholders, including the government, to address this critical issue.

He underscored that “only a meager eight percent of schools in Nigeria have dedicated girls’ toilets equipped with provisions for MHM.”

In light of these concerning facts, he urged governments to invoke the ethical principles of beneficence and healthcare justice to develop a comprehensive health policy that encompasses all levels of government.

Such a coordinated approach, Mr. Orebiyi argued, would facilitate the development and implementation of effective MHM programs.

Adegoke Ayodele, the Director of Community Mobilization and Hygiene Education at RUWASSA, emphasized that the objective of the program was to foster brainstorming sessions and equip menstruating girls with vital knowledge.

Mr. Ayodele stressed the need to dispel misconceptions and myths surrounding menstruation in Nigeria, calling for widespread awareness through the dissemination of accurate information to the public.

UNICEF representative Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole and RUWASSA director Olabode Popoola both emphasized the significance of engaging all stakeholders and their collective efforts to ensure effective MHM practices.

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