By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Prof. Ibrahim Shuaibu has said that most of the aliments diagnosed and treated during its recent Health Initiative for the Rural Dwellers were as a result of poor hygiene.

He therefore urged Nigerians to take the issue of environmental sanitation and cleanliness seriously as to avoid falling ill all the time.

The DG stated this on Saturday 24th July, 2021 in Abakaliki while flagging off 2021 NYSC National Environmental Sanitation day at Magret Umahi International Market.

Prof Shuaibu ably represented by the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs Bamai Mercy Dawuda noted that environmental sanitation has been recognized globally as one of the key requirements for prevention of diseases and their escalation to epidemic proportion.

The DG recommended 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.

He noted that the programme with the theme “Clean Environment/Good Hygiene: Panacea for Good Health and Long Life” was aimed at ensuring every member of the community being mobilized to participate in the exercise which features on sensitization, disease surveillance and report of outbreaks.

The DG said: “the call to action will promote cooperation and reduce indifference and ignorance,” giving an example of the robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with awareness creation, vigilance while community policing should become everyone’s business, stressing that NYSC can no longer afford to be indifferent to anything detrimental to public health and safety.

He said some of the diseases(ailments) treated during the health outreach included chronic diarrhoea, dental caries (tooth decay), head/body lice, ringworm, dysentery, typhoid, poilo, scabies trachoma, Hepatitis A, malaria, amongst others.

He however, called for collaborative efforts to save lives by empowering the people with adequate information on good grooming and environmental hygiene.

Prof Shuaibu also recommended that efforts should be focused on regular hygienic practices.

These include:environmental sanitation on fortnight basis, clean food and water intake; proper disposal of human and animal waste; protection of food and water from contamination; and good grooming on regular basis;

Others include community policing to enforce clean environment and proper waste disposal; regular hand wash and avoidance of frequent touch of the eyes, nose and mouth to minimize the spread of viruses, bacteria, germs and infections.

He emphasized the inseparable nature of environmental protection and sanitation for a stable, healthy and sustainable ecosystem.

The NYSC Director-General called for a further education of the general public on decontamination of foods due to exposure, disinfection of the environment – living rooms, toilets, public spaces; handling of toxic materials; susceptibility and risky habits; how best to handle bush burning, pollution and waste disposal and tree planting support health ecosystem.

He described as a heart-warming the good testimonies coming from the communities that benefited from the NYSC-HIRD medical outreaches and therefore, assured all Nigerians of the NYSC’s readiness to continue to offer health and other essential services for the public.

NYSC Staff and the Corps members at the Margaret Umahi International Market, Ochudo Centenary City, Kpirikpiri Market in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State Capital were seen doing sanitation and also sensitizing the residents on the need to keep their environment clean and maintaining personal hygiene.