Public Health Expert Berates Anambra Govt Over Open Defecation-Free Status Claim

Anambra State Government has come under heavy criticism for its claims that some council areas in the state have attained open defecation free status.

Earlier last year, Anambra East Council Area was said to be free from open defecation.

According to the report, the achievement followed a sustained 5-year campaign.

Aguata LGA was also said to be nearing such attainment.

However, it has been observed that open defecation is still rife in the two council areas.

This is as issues of modern toilet facilities and access to water, remain major challenges for households in communities that comprise the two LGAs.

In an exclusive interview with TNC correspondent in Awka, a Professor of Public Health Parasitology, Professor Dennis Aribodor regretted that government is more concerned about having good report cards before the international community, that does not reflect the true position of things.

According to him, the ‘shadow-chasing’ has cost the state, development partners who could have deployed resources to assist the state address obvious challenges.

“It is quite unfortunate that our governments lie a lot- the Federal, the State and the Local governments.

“They want to have what you may call, good face before the global community so that they can say that their areas are good and nothing bad is happening there.

“They also said that Anambra State has no malaria or very little malaria, but we all know it is a lie and once you say that, those that are supposed to help you will not help you.

“That was how we lost SuNMAP and some other agencies who are supposed to help address some of our problems,” he said.

Prof Aribodor advised government to shun such lies and focus on issues on ground to ensure that the problems the people face are squarely addressed.

“If you go round the state, you will see that open defecation is still rife and there is basis for the government to claim that the state has attained free status as regards that,” Aribodor said.

Prof Aribodor who is a lecturer in the Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, also asked the state government to sit up and address problems of disease outbreaks to ensure that the health of the people are guaranteed.