Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that one of the major obstacles to re-opening schools worldwide is the lack of basic hand-washing facilities.
Speaking at the weekly Global Media briefing on COVID-19, the WHO chief said that two out of five schools around the world lack basic hand-washing facilities, affecting an estimated 818 million children.
“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, where hand hygiene is one of the key recommendations for keeping safe, this is a major obstacle,” he noted.
“This problem proceeded the current pandemic, and its impacts reach far beyond, covering a whole range of infectious diseases,” he added.
As governments work to safely re-open schools in line with the United Nations and World Bank guidelines, Tedros stressed that water, sanitation and hygiene facilities “must be a priority,” and “our children’s future depends upon it.”