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How to prevent disease outbreaks, by Hypo

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Worried by the incessant outbreak of diseases such as meningitis, which has left a number of people dead and some hospitalised, leading hygiene solution brand, Hypo has teamed up with the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMoH) and Lagos State Ministry of Environment (LSMoE) to sensitise the public on household and environment hygiene as a preventive measure against diseases.

With the theme, “Team Up to Clean UP”, the campaign which was part of activities to commemorate the World Health Day on April 7, had the management of Hypo, representatives of the LSMoH and LSMoE, as well as residents of Ebutte Meta and its environs, participate in the clean up exercise as they cleared the streets and drainages in the community to enhance their wellbeing. A recent report by The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly one quarter of total global deaths. The Report, titled: “Preventing disease through healthy environments” further found that these deaths could be prevented through better environmental management.

The Brand Manager, Hypo, Jadesola Surakat, said the campaign, which is in its second season is primarily aimed at fulfilling the corporate responsibility Hypo has towards the society and repositioning the brand from the perceived state of just a whitening agent to a total hygiene solution.

“We recognize our responsibility to the society and therefore deemed it right to make contributions to the betterment of the society. Hypo has become a phenomena household brand and there are no better ways to give back than this initiative of influencing a positive behaviour for hygiene by engaging residents of communities. This is a collaborative effort and requires a teaming up with the relevant stakeholders such as influencers and government agencies and parastatals.”

Surakat explained further that the Hypo bleach functions beyond a whitening agent as it prevent the development of many insects from the larvae stage to mature stage particularly insects which breeds on stagnant water.

“If a place is dirty, insects such as flies and cockroaches could carry the diseases and infect everyone. Also if the water system is not clean and safe, diseases can easily spread. Although there are a lot of factors that could be involve in the spreading of diseases, the environment is one of the major factors to be taken into consideration,” she added.

The Head, Waste Management Division, Environmental Services, LSMoH, Mrs. Tolu Adeyo stressed that unhealthy and dirty environment contribute to the fast spread of diseases, adding that with Lagos State having the highest population of over 22 million people, there is bound to be more refuse, which is why the ministry is teaming up with projects that would sensitize people on the need to keep their environments clean to prevent outbreak of deadly diseases.

“The environment is for the people, the more people we have living in an environment, the more refuse will be generated and the dirtier that environment will be if they don’t keep it clean. This is why we have come to sensitize the residents on the need to consistently keep their environments clean’” she said.

Speaking on the impact of the campaign on the environment, Adeyo said the Ministry of Environment commends any initiative such as the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

“Government would do it’s part of providing framework, system and infrastructures such as the PSP scheme, but it’s our individual responsibility to manage the waste we generate on a daily basis by disposing them the right way and the sensitization of cleaning the environment is central to our mandate that’s why we commend the Hypo Team Up to Clean Up campaign,” she added.

The Assistant Director, Health Education Unit, LSMoH, Mrs. Olubunmi Ilawole said, “We have had a lot of outbreak of diseases like Ebola, Lassa fever, and this is due to unclean environment. Our environment matters to our wellbeing. When the drainages are not flowing, it tends to generate more dirt and bacteria breed in them. We also have other water borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and the recent meningitis all caused by dirty environment. People don’t really know what is going on in their environment that is why we are going round sensitizing people and calling on everybody to come out and keep their surroundings clean to avoid further diseases from ravaging our communities,” she added.

Speaking on the cancellation of the monthly environmental sanitation, Ilawole said people don’t need to be restricted from going to their place of business in order to keep their environment clean, adding that the State government is doing all it can to help and ensure that residents imbibe the habit of cleanliness so as to stay healthy and free from diseases.


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