MAKURDI – Nigerians in rural areas need comprehensive education on open defecation tin order to put an end to the practice, UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Mr Charles Nzuki, has said.
Nzuki, who made the statement in Makurdi in an interview with newsmen, stressed the need for rural dwellers to understand the health hazard associated with open defecation.
“Open defecation is all about attitude and the cultural background of the people in question.
“The peoples’ lack basic education to understand the health implications and shame associated with open defecation.
“Education plays a major role in its elimination. But it is a gradual process that involves the people, governments and civil societies,” Nzuki said.
He commended the Nigerian Government for its partnership with UNICEF and the support the agency had received from the government.
“We are receiving a lot of support from the Nigerian government.
“Government is complimenting our efforts in every aspect, especially in the areas of personnel and human development,” he said.
Nzuki blamed the high rate of child mortality in Africa on the low standard of health facilities in the continent, adding that effective health care system would help to reduce the number of child birth.
He decried the large number of youths forced to live on the streets in African countries due to poverty and lack of employment.
The field officer said the agency was collaborating with the United Nations and the Federal Government to identify the areas Nigerian youths could be assisted.
He appealed to state governments to identify areas of priorities and targets to enable UNICEF give them assistance.
Nzuki said that thuggery would be eliminated in Africa if every child of school age are in school.
“The best place for a child is school; we do not want children to be bread winners of their families at tender age.
“We also condemn situations where children are abused in schools due to lack of basic school amenities,’’ he said.