Minister urges students to desist from poor sanitation habit

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Mrs Gifty Naa Ayee Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, has advised students to desist from throwing rubbish into the gutters.

She said the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the gutter had been a contributory factor to the severe flooding in the city, which needed urgent attention to curb the menace.

The Minister said this at the weekend in a speech read on her behalf at the launch of the sixth edition of the School’s Sanitation Inspection tour in Accra.

The event was organised by One on One Foundation, an NGO in sanitation under the theme: “A Canker that Must be Eliminated at the very Youthful Stages of our Lives”, and supported by Unilever Ghana Limited.

The project will in the next 26 weeks tour 26 Senior High Schools (SHSs), one school a week, to educate students on sanitation and hygiene.

Mrs Mensah said government was committed to providing and guaranteeing the right to health for Ghanaians and would not relent in its duty to ensure the safety of the citizenry.

She noted that poor sanitation affected the health of all and food security, adding that it was imperative for the populace to practice good personal hygiene to live healthy.

The Deputy Minister said the country was committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal six: ensuring access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.

However, statistics show that more than two billion people globally are living without access to good water and sanitation.

Also, 2.4 billion people worldwide lack basic access to sanitation.

She explained that these phenomena was worrying and called for concerted efforts to address the challenges of poor sanitation in the country.

Emmanuel Ola Williams, President of One on One Foundation, disclosed that the initiative was instituted out of the desire to join the national sanitation campaign after the country was ranked poorly in both regional and international sanitation polls.

He said the tour was targeted at SHSs, especially boarding schools, since recent health news had raised issues about their sanitation.

Outlining the programme, Mr Williams mentioned that the Foundation, in collaboration with the Education Ministry, would visit the schools on the weekends and spend time with the children, monitor their personal hygiene and environmental sanitation practices.

He said a cleaning competition would be held between the various houses of the schools visited with winners emerging after inspection by the team.

Mr Williams stressed that, the students would also engage in other sanitation-related activities like drama and community outreach.

“The student who emerges the overall winner will become the sanitation ambassador for a year,” he said.

Mr George Owusu-Ansah, the Managing Director, Unilever Ghana, commended the organisers for the initiative to instil the habit of good personal Hygiene among the students.

“We at Unilever Ghana, we see the project as laudable and an enterprise that is about life, and resonates with our foundation,” he added.

According to UNICEF every year, pneumonia and diarrhoea kill 1.4 million children under five worldwide, while in Ghana, over 10,000 children die each year from diarrhea and pneumonia.

Source: GNA

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