Pupils Must Form Hand Washing Campaign Clubs
Basic school teachers in the Upper West Region have been asked to guide their students to form hand washing campaign clubs to help promote hand washing among their parents and friends at home. Mr. Fidelis Yapel, Acting Water and Sanitation Officer at the Plan Ghana Northern Sector Office, in Wa, made the call during the Regional Launch of the Global Hand Washing Day, at Lawra at the weekend. The Global Hand Washing Day is marked annually to create public awareness on the need to constantly wash hands with soap after using the toilet, before and after eating and activities that involve the use of the hand. The day was marked with a procession by basic school students through the Lawra town. They carried placards as the drummed and danced. Some of the messages carried on the placards included; "Hand washing with soap saves children's lives"; "Protect yourself and your family from pandemic flu"; "Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating"; "Start practicing hand washing today; and "Report early to the health facility when you are sick". Mr. Yapel urged civil society organisations engaged in health promotion to support such clubs through education and supply them with the resources they need to help them spread the message. He urged the teachers to frequently invite health personnel to their schools to talk to the pupils on the need to always wash their hands with soap. Mrs. Annacleta Naab, Acting Regional Director of the Department of Children, said through the formation of the clubs, the children could visit market places to demonstrate to their mothers how to properly wash their hands with soap and its importance. Mr. Bewaari Simon Aanyeh, Regional Health Promoter, reminded the children about the dangerous effects of the H1N1 influenza and advised the children to take the hand washing with soap seriously to avoid contracting the diseases. He said the Lawra District was chosen for the Regional Launch of the programme because of efforts it had made in promoting washing hands with soap. Mr. Alfred Gunyog Yibonteng, a health worker at the Lawra District Health Directorate, noted that diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid fever and hepatitis 'A' could be contracted through poor hand washing methods. He, therefore, encouraged the children to always wash their hands with soap and water using running water, and in circumstances where there is no soap, use ash and water as a temporary method. Mr. Las Anyi Bayuo, the Regional Environmental Health Officer, said as part of the hand washing day his outfit would intensify hospitality industry inspection to ensure that hotels, drinking spots and outdoor commercial food vendors had in place hand washing facilities.
Source: Ghana News Agency