Diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections are responsible for greater percentage of child deaths in the country, Mr Philip Amanor, the Central Regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), has said.
He appealed to all Ghanaians and mothers in particular to take the practice of hand washing with soap seriously to avoid contracting transmissible diseases such as diarrheoa and cholera.
Mr Amanor gave the advice on Tuesday at a durbar held at Moree in the Abura -Asebu –Kwamankese (AAK) District of the Central Region to climax this year’s regional celebration of Global Hand Washing Day.
The Day held on the theme, “Saving lives; the power is in your hands”, was sponsored by UNICEF and other development partners of CWSA and was attended by religious and traditional leaders, selected schools in the Moree township as well as members of the community.
The Global hand washing day is celebrated worldwide every October 15 to sensitize the general public on the need to wash their hands with soap and water to prevent infectious diseases.
Mr Amanor said research has established that the second biggest killer disease of children is diarrhoea and urged participants to become agents of behavioral change to spread the message of frequent hand washing with soap.
He explained that hand washing with soap is important because the hand often acts as vectors that carry disease-causing germs from an individual to another either through direct contact or indirectly via surfaces.
It is in this regard that food vendors are urged to take the practice of hand washing with soap seriously because they could transmit the bacteria or germs that cause diseases saying had washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive ways of preventing diarrhoeal diseases.
Mrs Patience Antwi Boasiako, a representative of UNICEF, said there was the need to wash hands with soap before breastfeeding a child.
Mr Jonathan Ampaabeng, the Regional Coordinator of Schools Health and Environment Programme (SHEP) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), called on parents and teachers to ensure that the hand washing with soap habit is sustained among children.
He called on members of the communities to refrain from the practice of breaking into schools to use their washrooms and empty poly tanks when schools have closed and called on them to rather set good examples for children to follow.
Mr Stephen Edzie Kubin, a staff of the University of Cape Coast and an opinion leader of the town who chaired the function, said even though there are taps in the town, water does not flow regularly and appealed to the Government to complete the project in order to enable them practice the hand washing with soap effectively.
A mass hand washing exercise was organized for the participants during the celebration which saw eight tables with water and soaps mounted at vantage points in the town throughout the day to facilitate the campaign.