Mrs Kehinde Oderhohwo, Director Schools, Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, has pledged to reinforce handwashing practice as the biggest defence to forestall cholera outbreak in schools in the state.
Oderhohwo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that hygiene promotion, was the first line of defence against cholera and other water-borne diseases in the country.
According to her, right from the COVID-19 era, the state government had re-emphasised adherence to handwashing culture in all its schools in the 25 Local government Areas.
She said this was being monitored in all field offices and manned by the chief inspectors of education.
“Right from the Covid era, all our schools have handwashing stations established in all the schools, and since then, to date, they have been practicing this,“she said.
She said that the emphasise was that, as they move out for the routine inspection, they make sure that this washing of hands is still in place and improved upon.
On management of menstrual hygiene in schools, the director said counselors have been deployed to give female learners necessary tips on hygiene promotion during their periods.
She said that young girls no longer missed schools during their menses, saying pads have been distributed and awareness carried out on safe hygiene practices with access to potable water and toilet facilities.
Oderhohwo commended the state government for its investment in education and providing a conducive working environment for civil servants in the state.
“If you go round our schools, our offices, everywhere is conducive for work; civil servants are happy and motivated to go to work,“she said.
Besides noting the situation in the schools, it was disclosed by the Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, that 45 communities reported cholera outbreaks in five local government areas in 2020.
414 cases and 15 deaths were recorded in five local governments including; Bomadi, Burutu, Ughelli, Patani and Ughelli North in 2020.
The state health agency says in 2021, there was outbreak of cholera in five local government areas, 264 cases and 13 deaths were recorded.
The affected LGAs were Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Patani, Warri south and north. (NAN)