Nepal | November 30, 2020

‘More than half the population denied access to hand hygiene’

UNICEF says 54 per cent health care units in Nepal lack access to handwashing facilites

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
Share Now:

Kathmandu, March 18

Hands washed with soap, when done correctly, go a long way in the fight against novel coronavirus disease, but millions of people have no easy access to a place to wash their hands, UNICEF said today.

In Nepal, more than half of the population do not have access to handwashing with soap and water at households, said a press release issued by UNICEF. Nearly three quarters of the people in least developed countries including Nepal lack basic handwashing facilities at home.

As the pandemic continues to spread, UNICEF has been reminding the public of the importance of handwashing as a key prevention measure against COVID-19. It has been urging renewed efforts to provide access to this most basic of public health interventions.

“Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest, most effective things you can do to protect yourself and others against coronavirus, as well as many other infectious diseases.

Yet for billions, even this most basic step is simply out of reach,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF director of programmes.

“It is far from a magic bullet. But it is important to make sure people know what step they should take to keep themselves and their families safe, even as we continue our longstanding efforts to make basic hygiene and sanitation available for everyone.”

In many parts of the world, children, parents, teachers, healthcare workers and other members of the community do not have access to basic handwashing facilities at home, in healthcare facilities and schools.

According to the latest estimate, 40 per cent of the world’s population, or three billion people, do not have a handwashing facility with water and soap at home. “In Nepal, 54 per cent health care facilities have no access to handwashing facilities at point of care. Availability of disinfectant at outpatient departments of health care facilities is only 59 per cent while availability of water in delivery rooms at health care facilities is 69 per cent. Urban population is particularly at risk of viral respiratory infections due to population density and more frequent public gathering in crowded spaces like markets, public transport or places of worship,” read the release circulated by UNICEF, Nepal.

According to UNICEF, 33 per cent of urban population or around three in 10 people do not have access to handwashing with soap and water in Nepal. “Handwashing is also key to protect health workers from infection and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections in healthcare facilities.”

As the COVID-19 response takes its toll on health services in the affected countries, the practice of handwashing with soap is even more important in warding off common respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases,” it read. In total, only three out of five people worldwide have basic handwashing facilities, according to the latest data.

 


A version of this article appears in print on March 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Mahrez hat-trick as Man City thrash Burnley 5-0 yet again

MANCHESTER: Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City hammered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday -- the fourth straight time Pep Guardiola's side have beaten the Clarets at home by that scoreline. City had netted just 10 goals in their open Read More...

Oli counters Dahal with 38-page salvo

Oli raises a host of issues and questions Dahal’s role in relation to them KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today presented a 38-page long rebuttal to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 19- page proposal saying Dahal’s proposal had led to a serious crisis in the party a Read More...

Record-setting week at Nepse

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The country’s sole secondary market witnessed a number of records broken in the trading week between November 22 and 26, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index surging by 6.47 per cent or 115.13 points week-on-week to scale to a new peak. Opening at 1,778.12 p Read More...

Raphinha's late strike gives Leeds victory at Everton

LIVERPOOL: Brazilian winger Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United to give his side a 1-0 win in an eventful Premier League game full of disallowed goals and superb saves at Goodison Park on Saturday. With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, Everton keeper Read More...

MoFAGA

MoFAGA formulates procedure to enhance public accountability

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has formulated procedure related to public accountability promotion for its implementation at the local levels. The procedure aims to enhance the public accountability of local governments by making elected repre Read More...

‘Chandragadi airport to be upgraded as per new DPR’

JHAPA, NOVEMBER 28 Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai today said upgradation of Chandragadi airport would be carried out as per the latest detailed project report. Upon receiving a memo submitted by Save Chandragadi Airport Committee, Minister Bhattarai clarified tha Read More...

Jagadamba steel

Industrial blast injures four

BARA, NOVEMBER 28 At least four labourers were injured in an explosion at a furnace of Jagadamba Steel in Jitpursimara sub-metropolis of Bara today. The four persons, including two Indians, were injured in the incident that took place early this morning. The injured have been identified as Read More...

Cold store being built

DHARAN, NOVEMBER 28 Construction of a cold store in Sunsari’s Barahachhetra Municipality has reached the final stage, signalling an end to the plight of having to take local products elsewhere for storage. Sunsari’s Barahachhetra has developed wards in the plains and prioritised livestock Read More...