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World Health Day: Medical practitioners task govt on central water system

Some medical practitioners have urged the Federal Government to work towards establishing a central water system to promote access to safe and affordable water for healthy living of Nigerians.

Muhammad Ali Pate
Muhammad Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare

The medical practitioners spoke in Lagos on Saturday, April 6, on the occasion of 2024 World Health Day (WHD) marked annually on April 7.

WHD is celebrated annually on April 7 to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948.

The theme for 2024 WHD is: “My Health, My Right”.

This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

Speaking, a Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Ramon Moronkola, said it had become imperative for the government to provide a central water system to ensure access to affordable and readily available safe drinking water.

Moronkola, who works with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said that availability of central water system would make it easier for the government to monitor and regulate the quality of water that goes to different homes.

According to him, unsafe water is one of the ways infections can spread, saying that individuals can easily contract diseases if water is not made safe.

“The WHO has mentioned access to safe water and good nutrition as part of the key components of WHD celebration.

“So, water is very important to life and healthy living; we need water to quench our thirst, even when we eat, we need water for the food to digest, the body needs water to function and excrete waste products,” he said.

Moronkola decried that, in Nigeria, government’s source of water was practically not existing.

He explained that, with the establishment of central water system by government, water would be more affordable and available for consumption.

“Water is life, without water there is no living.

“And this is very important to talk about now because in our own environment, government’s source of water is practically not existing.

“We all depend on water from different sources usually from all the packaged water. How well are we sure that this water is safe?

“But if we have a central water system, it would have been easier for the government to monitor the quality of water that goes to different homes.

“My advice is that government should either start looking at establishing central water system or based the situation we had, ensure that the regulatory agencies play more roles beyond exploiting and extorting the owners of these packaged water.

“The regulatory agencies should play more roles in supporting and ensuring that the water they supply is safe, affordable and available to people.

“And this is where collaborative effort will play a significant role; the regulatory agencies should see themselves as partners with these producers rather than antagonists or enemies,” Moronkola said.

Contributing, a Consultant Family & Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Dr Bummi Oluwagbemi, said that the importance of water to life cannot be overemphasised.

Oluwagbemi advised that people should ensure they take enough safe drinking water particularly during the daytime as it helps in body cleansing and revitalisation.

According to her, it is advisable that an individual drinks lots of water at least three litres of water per day.

By Lilian U. Okoro

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