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Osun First Lady leads campaign on eradication of open defecation

By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice, S/W Bureau Chief 
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The Wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola today took the campaign against the practise of open defecation to Ikire community in Irewole local government area of the state.

The wife of the governor stormed the community with her entourage and echoed the slogan "Stop Open Defecation, Use Toilet.

"I am indeed very happy that we are holding this event in order to tackle one of the very serious development challenges facing our state. Open defecation is a major challenge which is born out of an agelong practice of our people.

"It is the practice of defecating in the open places such as fields, back of the houses, and every open place other than in toilets.

She said the ease with which this practice gets carried out might have been attractive over the years, the dangers and the cost of practice are such that we must now collectively resolve to abandon the practice.

She warned that Open defecation carries grave health consequences "It is a destroyer of our health and pollutant of our environment. Every time we step out to openly defecate, we are deliberately inviting water borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid to ravage."

She added that open defecation is one of the factors leading to mortality among children under five years of age adding that apart from the diseases, the practice could enhance sexual and other violence against women and girls especially when they have to go out in the dark to defecate in the open places.

"Another crucial consequence of open defecation is that the diseases arising from the practice could negatively affect the education of children by making the children miss schools when they are sick. These are not things we want for our people at this age and time."

She said the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola has made healthcare one of the major pillars of its programs and that resources are being committed to enhancing the health facilities in the State especially the primary health care facilities.

She said the time has come to free the state of open defecation and appealed to residents of Osun State to imbibe the practise of using toilet

The First Lady commended Governor Gboyega Oyetola for supporting the campaign to end open defecation in Osun state.