Sanitation Minister calls for sustained hand hygiene to prevent COVID

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources highlighted the benefits of proper handwashing and stressed the need for all Ghanaians and traders, in particular, to practise proper hygiene

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has urged traders to maintain regular handwashing and hygienic habits in order to prevent diseases such as cholera and COVID, which can be transmitted as a result of improper hygiene.

The minister made this call while addressing traders at Kejetia Market in Kumasi on the occasion of Global Handwashing Day on Saturday 15 October.

Dapaah underscored the need for a collaborative effort among stakeholders to ensure sustainable hand hygiene interventions.

The Sanitation Minister further highlighted the benefits of proper handwashing and reiterated the need for the traders and all other Ghanaians to practise thorough hygiene.

“Proper handwashing with soap helps to remove germs from our hands, which helps to prevent transmission of respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases, including cholera. It is important to note that handwashing has multiple benefits, including improved well-being, dignity, educational fulfilment and productivity.”

The minister therefore appealed to the general public to give handwashing and basic hygiene prime importance in their daily activities.

“We should all remember that prevention is better than cure and healthy people make a healthy nation. Our future is in our hands. Let’s prioritise hand hygiene issues,” she said.

Risk factors

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated every year on 15 October. The day is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

To mark this year’s Global Handwashing Day, the multinational development organisation Global Communities and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources commemorated the day at Kejetia Market to educate the Kumasi traders about the importance of handwashing, and also to caution them about the risk factors involved in not washing their hands frequently.

The event featured plays and skits, performed by the traders, on the significance of proper handwashing and hygiene practices.

The theme for this year’s Global Handwashing Day was “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene”.

The Sanitation Minister donated ten handwashing Veronica buckets to the market traders, to be placed at vantage points to facilitate easy handwashing by the traders.

The president of the Kumasi Petty Traders’ Association, Nana Prempeh, who received the donation on behalf of traders at New Kejetia Market, thanked the minister for the gesture, and assured her that the items will serve the intended purpose. He appealed for more items of this sort to facilitate proper handwashing in the market.

Irene Pomaa Kumi

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