Mr Benjamin Arthur, the Executive Director of Coalition of NGO’s in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), has advised Ghanaians to be mindful of what they eat, where they buy their food and under what hygienic conditions they buy it.
He said this was important as research has proven that some of the foods being bought outside were contaminated affecting the healthy lives of Ghanaians.
Mr Arthur said this in Accra when People’s Health Movement launched the 2014 Global Health Watch Report under the theme: “Watchdogging, an Essential Element to Ensuring the Right to Health”.
The report, being an alternative one, also happens to be the fourth of its kind to help understand health crisis globally to enable the country to take compelling and decisive decisions.
It focuses on the global political and economic architecture, the health systems globally, and goes beyond healthcare to determine other social structures and scrutinises processes to have significant impact on global health.
Mr Arthur, reviewing the current sanitation situation in the country as against the report, said in breaking the transmission routes of wash related diseases, it involved the delivery of an improved wash services and promoting behavioural change.
He said the challenge of open defecation coupled with poor sanitation issues in the country was a key factor that needed to be dealt with although government had done a lot to ensure the situation was curtailed.
He, thus, called on government and civil society organisations to, as much as possible, prevent open defecation and have a sustained behavioural change.
He said water and sanitation were human right issues hence it should be available for all and legally binding.
Mr Selorme K. Azumah, the Senior Advisor, IPAS-Ghana, said the report indicated that that lack of reproductive health choices was a major barrier to quality reproductive health and well-being adding that it had roots in patriarchal values, cultural norms and high levels of infant mortality.
He said lack of access to safe abortion care and services was also a key contributor to the poor maternal health and called on government to promote universal access to reproductive and sexual health and strengthen health systems.
Dr Joseph Amuzu, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, said the role of watch-dogging was critical if not imperative in ensuring that there was sustained investment by governments to improve the health of the people.
He said WHO’s Constitution enshrined the highest attainment standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being just as Ghana’s Constitution provided for steps to be taken to ensure the realisation of policy objectives contained on the right to good health care among other things.