Miss Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has appealed to every school child to cherish hand-washing with soap and encourage their friends to do same.
She further urged the school children to be ambassadors of change in their communities or wherever they may find themselves.
Miss Gomashie said this at the launch of the hygiene promotion programme dubbed; “Give a Gift not Germ”, which seeks to convey acceptable way of hand-washing message to the Ghanaian children.
She said her Ministry’s advocacy for local cuisine and hand-washing was linked to the campaign of incorporating of local dishes into the Ghanaian menus at functions.
“It is believed that as Ghanaians we were brought up to appreciate our culture where we use our hands to eat, hence the need for everyone to admire hand-washing with soap,” she said.
The Deputy Minister said hand-washing was a campaign to motivate and to create the awareness among the people to wash their hands with soap, adding that; “this is a key approach to disease prevention.”
Miss Gomashie also launched a child friendly book “My Hand-washing, Handwriting and Colouring Book”, which highlighted key messages of hand-washing with soap with illustrations and pictures.
She commended the initiators, Global Neighbourhood Healthcare and Development Organisation (GloNEHDO), Community Water and Sanitation Agency and Janok Foundation for their efforts in getting people, especially children, to appreciate and understand the importance of hand-washing with soap.
Mrs Theodora Adomako-Adjei, National Coordinator for Hand-washing with soap, said for a successful and sustained behavioural change to occur it was important to incorporate practical approaches that are relevant to specific target groups like the children.
“The book for the children in the lower primary school will give real meaning to the catch them young phrases,” she said.
She said; “It is my expectation that the introduction of the handwriting book and hand-washing with soap in schools will be an effective entry point for children to understand the need for the practice and promotion of hand-washing.”