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Health News Fri, 31 Oct 2014

Enforce proper hand washing at schools

The School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has called for the strict enforcement of proper hand washing with soap and running water at all basic and senior high schools nationwide.

According to the Unit, proper hand washing was one of the most effective and preventive measure that could be put in place at schools against the spread of cholera which had killed many including some students.

Proper hand washing could also stop the spread of the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), the unit said.

Mrs. Nana Esi Inkoom, Programmes Director of SHEP who made the call on Wednesday, recommended the use of taps, veronica buckets or the tippy taps instead of communal bowls and towels and urged parents to support the effort by equally enforcing the method at home.

Mrs Inkoom gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the end of a two week Trainer of Trainers Workshop organized by the GES at Saltpond to train selected participants from all the 216 districts in the country on the control and prevention of EVD and Cholera at the pre- tertiary levels.

It was organized in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The participants, four from each district were made up of SHEP Coordinators and District Training Officers, Environmental Heath and Sanitation Officers of the various Assemblies and Health Promotion Officer of the District Health Directorates.

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They were taken through control and prevention of the two deadly diseases, risk communication and how to use some guidelines and manuals to effectively disseminate information.

The participants are expected to work in a team to champion the course at their various districts.

Mrs. Inkoom said the workshop was important especially when EVD was killing many people in the sub -region and noted that schools were places that the disease could spread faster due to their set up and called on stakeholders to cooperate with participants in educating the public.

She urged parents and other stakeholders to supplement the efforts of the schools by donating more veronica buckets and soaps for effective hand washing, adding that at places where there were no taps or veronica buckets, the tippy taps which are improvised running water dispenser could be used.

Some participants who spoke to the GNA commended the organizers for the workshop and stressed to need to an all hands on deck approach in controlling and preventing the two diseases.

Source: GNA