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Undergraduates advocate making hand wash a regular habit

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As the news of the country recording first case of Coronavirus (Covid-19) went viral last weekend, some institutions of higher learning across the country have revived their safety and regular hand wash campaign.

But undergraduates are not impressed. They believe that Nigerians across all strata should make personal hygiene and regular hand wash a routine, rather than waiting for an outbreak before they realise its importance.

Just last Monday, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the institution has embarked on serious health security to prevent the spread of Coronavirus within the school.

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He gave the assurance ahead of UNILAG’s 51st convocation, assuring the public that hand sanitisers will be placed at strategic positions.

He said: “No cause for alarm over Covid-19. There will be maximum health security by the team in charge of that. I have instructed them and work is going on well. There will be several preventive measures on that day. Hand sanitisers will be in public places for guests to wash their hands.”

Also, at Lagos State University (LASU), the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun, assured all members of the university community that measures have been put in place to ensure their safety. 

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According to him, “We want to enjoin our world-class students and distinguished staff members to remain calm and practice high level of personal hygiene.”

The institution health workers advised students to maintain a distance of about 1-1.5 metres with anyone coughing or sneezing.

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But some students who spoke with The Guardian said hand washing and personal hygiene should be a regular habit in all schools and homes.

Others said their schools are yet to put any measure in place in that regard, probably they are waiting for the worse to happen before they will be motivated to do so.

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“We don’t need to wait until there is an outbreak before we will start sensitising students and make provision for hand sanitisers. The outbreak of Ebola made all our schools to start hand washing and hand sanitising, but immediately we conquered the deadly disease, we abandoned hand washing and sanitising in schools. That shouldn’t be so. It ought to be a way of life, says Ihuoma Okike, a student of Abia State University.

A student at the University of Ibadan (UI), Esther Ayeni, said, “They are yet something of such in my school. I know Nigerians are always afraid of something that can kill us immediately; we forget that there are other silent killer diseases like cholera. Hand washes and sanitizing should be part of living.

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For Funmilayo Kolawole a student of Adeyemi College of Education, “That is what they did during the Ebola virus outbreak and after some time they forgot hand washing and hand sanitising in schools. I am giving them one month now; hand washing and hand sanitising will be a thing of the past, because it is still an option in this part of the world. This is Nigeria, where we wait till everything spoils before we will start seeking redress.”

Also, Seye Ogunlana from Lagos State University (LASU), said, hand wash should be a normal routine and not just something that should be done when there’s a disease outbreak. “This will go a long way in maintaining cleanliness among students as well as members of staff.”

Aishat Ajetumobi also a student of LASU, reminded that prevention is better than cure, and based on this fact there is need for sensitisation on personal hygiene.

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