TMA educates children on benefits of hand washing

By Alexander Nyarko YEBOAH, GNA          

Tema, Oct. 25, GNA – The Community Development
Unit of the Social Welfare and Community Development (SWCD) of the Tema
Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) has organized a sensitization programme to educate
school children on the need to wash their hands regularly.

The programme, which commemorated Global Hand
Washing Day, observed in October every year, is also to inculcate the habit of
hand washing in children in order to help them prevent diseases that are
contracted through poor hygienic practices.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on
Wednesday on the sidelines of the occasion at the Manheam Methodist Basic
School, Tema Newtown, the Head of the Community Development Unit of the SWCD,
Ms. Theresa Anafi, said “hand washing is a simple way of helping to prevent
diseases like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, etc. in our lives and communities.”

In demonstrating how these diseases get into
people, she said, “We touch our phones a lot, and our door handles; our
children play around, we sneeze, we shake hands, and then we carry bacteria and
put these same hands into our mouths when eating.”

She said they chose Tema Newtown for the
campaign because it had a lot of sanitation issues with very poor conditions in
certain parts of the community, and therefore there was the need to do more
education to prepare the young ones to deviate from bad practices they might
have picked.

The education was also extended to the food
vendors in and outside the schools as well as the teachers, “Because if we are
teaching the children and those serving them food don’t do the right thing, the
children will eventually fall sick.”

She pleaded with government and other
stakeholders to make funds and facilities available to enable children wash
their hands at school as a prerequisite for healthy living adding that
“sometimes, people refuse to wash their hands with the pretext that they do not
have access to water, soap and other facilities.”

The Head Teacher of the Manheam Methodist
Basic School, Mr. Michael Mensah Annang, stressed the need to incorporate
hygiene studies in “our school curricular as a way of changing the mindset of
the populace” concerning healthy living.

He observed that the rate at which pupils got
sick, which robbed them of quality learning time and their parents’ resources,
was alarming and that could easily be checked if they were taught how to imbibe
basic hygiene in their lives.

Mr. Joseph Kobina Ennison, the Head Teacher of
St. Johns Methodist School, the second school the team visited, in appreciating
the campaign, observed that education had not gone down well with the Newtown
community which meant that it would take more effort to be able to re-orient

He prayed TMA to do more sensitization
programmes to help adults in the community embrace hygienic practices for the
younger ones to follow suit.

As part of the demonstration, the children
were taught how to wash their hands including in between fingers, under nails
and palms by washing under running water and soap any time before meals and after
visiting the toilet.


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