Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nisiah-Asare has said poor sanitation will continue to be a canker in the country if Ghanaians do not purge themselves from the attitude of encouraging filth.
The Joint Monitoring Programme report; “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment”, a collaborative effort between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund, says improved sanitation is starker in Ghana and has slipped even further such that it is now ranked amongst the worst performing countries worldwide.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare speaking on the development noted that a change in attitude as far as matters of waste management and proper disposal of refuse, hygiene practice are concerned is the ideal way to deal with the root cause of sanitation problems in the country.
He believes training in that regard should begin right from the basics; in children starting from the Kindergarten level.
He noted at a stakeholders forum on sanitation, that the attempt will form part of the habit of young ones when they become adults.
“It doesn’t matter if Zoomlion will collect all the waste every day. If our attitude in this country doesn’t change forget it. It doesn’t matter if the Ministry of Sanitation and Water will bring all the vehicles and collect all the loans. If we don’t change our attitude forget it and it starts from Kindergarten.”
He commented on open defecation and the sale of food at dirty areas which pose health problems for consumers and people living in such areas.
Dr Nsiah-Asare disclosed that children under the age of 5 years are the most affected because diarrheal diseases caused by filth and poor sanitary conditions, is the second cause of deaths among infants.
He thus urged government to enforce laws on the huge task of sanitation facing the country while encouraging the implementation of bin project in schools.
The sanitation forum themed “Managing Sanitation: How to lift the nation from filth” was held Friday March 9, at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra. Major stakeholders including personnel from the Ghana Health Service, Zoomlion and the Environmental Protection Agency were present at the event.
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