Besides malaria, certain common diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and typhoid have remained the bane of the level of global health standard the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aims to attain. Luckily these diseases can be avoided easily through simple sanitation and hygiene practice. Thus the United Nations Organization has declared 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation and Hand Washing. The aim is to use the year to create awareness on the imperativeness of good sanitation and hand washing to the attainment
of the goal by 2015
In Nigeria, the First Lady of the Federation, Hajiya Turai Yar’adua first launched the awareness campaign at Abuja on the 20th May. Yesterday 29th July, the Plateau State First Lady Ngo Talatu Jang launched the Plateau version of the programme at Tablong village in central Plateau State. Clean drinking water come through the provision of treated water, boreholes and toilet facilities. Toilets are easy sources of germs that cause the common diseases. Hence the need to wash hands using soap or ash and water after the use of the toilet. At Tablong Mrs. Jang commissioned a borehole and toilet facilities in a primary school.
The programme prefers first ladies as mothers and children are more vulnerable to these diseases. They undertake the domestic chores that bring them to contact with these diseases.
The choice of Tablong, a very remote village, is based on the reasoning that rural areas by virtue of their remoteness often miss vital information needed for their improvement and face, more than any other person, the scarcity of good drinking water and health facilities.