Over 102,000 Nigerian children under the age of five die yearly from diseases linked to poor sanitation and unhygienic practices, an official has said.

Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu told reporters in Abuja that about 33 percent of children under age five are stunted due to unhygienic practices in Nigeria.

Cultivating good handwashing habits, which is an individual process, will go a long way to stop unhygienic practices that contribute to the annual deaths, Adamu said at a program held to create awareness among Nigerian citizens ahead of the 2019 Global Handwashing Day on October 15.

Next month, the Nigerian government will roll out a national program to further sensitize the citizens and educate them on the need to end open defecation, among others, he said.

Among health benefits of handwashing, which wards off diseases, include prevention of diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and pneumonia, according to the official.

“Handwashing is estimated to cut deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by a quarter,” he said.Enditem

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