Ghana for the past three years has not recorded an outbreak of Cholera due to strict health measures implemented by the government, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has said.
According to her, this has been due measures such as Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) sensitising communities on the need to practice personal hygiene, such as hand washing and the need to keep the environment clean to avoid outbreak of diseases.
“As I speak, they are on the field educating communities on how to be clean and also keep themselves from contracting diseases,” she said.
She was speaking at this year’s Global Hand washing Day, themed, “Hand washing for all” which calls for global action towards achieving universal hand hygiene.
The minister said the day sought to raise the cognizance of making soap and water available globally, especially in public places, schools, work and health care facilities.
“This global day gives me yet another opportunity to add my voice to our collective efforts of making the handwashing with soap campaign, a household practice that will in the long run impact positively on the lives of the good people of our dear country,” she said.
She said the day would offer critical approach to undertake intense public sensitisation in homes, markets, clinics, lorry stations, among others, to reinforce the practice of handwashing with soap.
Mrs Dapaah said the public sensitisation was expected to bring to the fore, the practical issues associated with unhygienic practices that in the long run, militated against the benefits of handwashing with soap.
She said hands were principal carriers of disease causing pathogens from person to person, either through direct contact or indirectly through surfaces, adding that hand washing with soap removed germs from hands to prevent transmission of respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases, including cholera and even the deadly COVlD-l9.
Mrs Dapaah said the time had come for Ghanaians to put sanitation and hygiene in their proper perspective because sanitation was dignifying and good hygienic behaviour promoted health.
She commended the government for the free water supply which was costing the country close to GH¢834 million.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) representative, Anne-Claire Dufay, presented Veronica buckets and other hygiene supplies to the Ministry of Education for distribution to schools in Accra.
She also commended Ghana for moving from 11.9 per cent hand washing practice in 2011 to 48.5 per cent in 2017.
Ms Dufay called on stakeholders to invest in water, sanitation and hygiene, ‘As this is critical for Ghana to fight COVID-19 and make more progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG