The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has announced that the Scheme will not relent in providing adequate information that will save the lives of the citizens and residents of this country.
The Director-General made the announcement when he flagged of 2021 NYSC National Environmental Sanitation exercise at Democracy Park, Akure, the capital of Ondo State.
Represented at the flag-off by the NYSC Ondo State Coordinator, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani, the Director-General said that environmental sanitation has been recognised globally as one of the key requirements for the prevention of diseases and their escalation to epidemic proportion.
General Ibrahim said that efforts must be stepped up to enlighten the general public, especially the rural dwellers, on the health risks of poor hygiene with particular focus on the prevention of contamination of food, water, and the entire environment’.
“Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen, it may interest you to know that during the nationwide medical outreaches recently conducted on the platform of the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD), most of the ailments diagnosed and treated were as a result of poor hygiene”.
According to the NYSC boss, some of the ailments caused by poor hygiene included chronic diarrhea, ringworm, dysentery, typhoid, polio, scabies trachoma, hepatitis A and malaria amongst others.
He said that efforts must be made to save many more lives by empowering people with adequate information on good grooming and environmental hygiene.
To achieve this year’s theme which is ‘Clean Environment/Good Hygiene: Panacea for Good Health and Long Life’, Ibrahim said that every member of the community will have to be mobilised for participation in the exercise which will feature sensitisation, disease surveillance, and report of outbreaks.
“With awareness creation, vigilance and community policing become everyone’s business. We can no longer afford to be indifferent to anything that will be detrimental to public health and safety”.
The Director-General hinted that sensitisation efforts of the Scheme will focus on regular environmental sanitation on a fortnight basis; clean food and water intake; proper disposal of human and animal waste; protection of food and water from contamination and community policing to enforce clean environment and proper waste disposal.
Other areas of focus would be good grooming on regular basis; regular hand washes; need to avoid the frequent touch of the eyes, nose, and mouth to minimise bacteria, germs, and infections; handling of toxic materials; susceptibility and risky habits: how best to handle bush burning, pollution, and tree planting to support health ecosystem.
“I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on our oars as we continue to offer health and other services including environmental protection. I am particularly hopeful about the prospects of this exercise because, with regular sanitation, malaria and other related diseases will be reduced to the barest minimum” he said.
The NYSC helmsman thanked the State Government, traditional rulers, community leaders, and other stakeholders for supporting this noble cause of the Scheme.
He also commended indefatigable NYSC staff and patriotic corps members for demonstrating the zeal to contribute meaningfully towards ensuring a healthy and stable environment and for successfully implemented the programme.
The sanitisation exercise was carried out in major public places such as Government offices, Local Government Secretariats, Palaces, Markets, Motor parks, gutters, and drainages on major roads in all the eighteen (18) Local Governments that made up Sunshine State.