Related diseases and emphasised the need for people to inculcate the habit of washing their hands with soap under running water at critical moments throughout each day.
Mr Martin Sumbo, the Upper West Regional Coordinator of GC, said this in Wa during an event to mark this year’s Global Handwashing Day (GHD) on the theme: ‘Clean Hands Within Reach.’
The event, organised by the GC, saw school children, some Heads of Department and Agencies and stakeholders walk through some principal streets of Wa to create awareness of the GHD.
The school children performed drama and poetry recitals to demonstrate the importance of handwashing as the day was to create awareness of the importance of proper handwashing with soap under running water as a key behaviour that could prevent sanitation-related diseases.
Mr Sumbo indicated that GC prioritised the health and well-being of every person and, thus, saw commemorative days as opportunities to re-echo the need for and importance of healthy living by all.
‘Proper hand washing significantly reduces the spread of infectious diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections which are causes of death among children,’ he explained.
The GC Regional Coordinator added that his organisation promoted behaviour change approaches including the adoption of cost-effective and live-saving behaviour such as handwashing at critical times – before eating, after toilet and after changing baby diapers – among the people.
He encouraged the school children to be ambassadors of proper handwashing in their schools, homes and wherever they found themselves.
The NGO also donated assorted items including Handwashing materials to the Wa Central Prison and held public sensitisation on proper handwashing through the media to mark the day.
Madam Fred Naatu, the Upper West Regional Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, reiterated that handwashing was important because ‘If you don’t wash your hands before eating it means you are eating someone’s faeces.’
She said that was because they always got into contact with people, shook hands, played with people and exchanged objects with people.
‘For truly clean hands, wash your hands with soap under running water, not in a communal container’, Madam Naatu advised.
Pognaa Amamata Mumuni, the Queen Mother of Duori, commended Global Communities for its interventions in the Wa Municipality and the region, including the promotion of hygiene practices among the people, especially children.
She urged the children to construct tippy-taps in their homes to enhance their handwashing practices as well as to endeavour to wash their hands properly after changing their sanitary pads.
According to the World Bank, hygiene promotion was the most cost-effective health action to reduce disease.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce deaths from diarrheal disease by up to 50 per cent.
It said: ‘Researchers estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, one million deaths a year could be prevented.’
Source: Ghana News Agency