WaterAid Ethiopia Urges International COVID-19 Response to Prioritize WASH

Addis Ababa WaterAid Ethiopia urged the international COVID-19 response to prioritize delivering adequate support for the provision of vital water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

In its press release issued to ENA, WaterAid said hygiene needs to be first line of defense against COVID-19 in 73rd World Health Assembly, which scheduled to convene on May 18, 2020.

The response must give priority particularly to hand washing with soap to prevent people from being infected with coronavirus and similar contagious pandemic, it stated.

WaterAid indicated that the resolution proposed by European Union on the ‘COVID-19 response’ lacks any reference to the critical issue of access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in responding to the pandemic.

This fundamental tool for prevention has to be given due emphasis in both political decisions and funding for COVID-19 response, it added.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF estimated that globally 3 billion people lack soap and water at home, and 40 percent of health care facilities are not equipped to practice hand hygiene at points of care.

Access to soap and water at home and health facilities in Ethiopia is even worse, it noted.

The World Health Assembly’s (WHA) efforts to tackle COVID-19, therefore, require a comprehensive package including preventive, protective and curative interventions, with WASH at the centre especially for low- and middle-income countries.

Good hygiene is especially crucial as a vital first line of defense as front line health workers and the most at-risk communities wait for the development of a vaccine.

Investing in WASH now is one of the few most important actions WHA Member States must take to confront COVID-19, the statement added.

WaterAid firmly believes that stopping the global COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing its lethal impact requires urgent collective action that puts WASH at front and centre of it


Source: Ethiopia News agency

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