As part of measures to minimise the possible spread of the COVID-19 in the Upper East Region, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Region has introduced the use of alcohol hand sanitizers at its public functions.
At the Regional GHS 2019 performance review meeting in Bolgatanga, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed that there were alcohol hand sanitizers displayed at the entrance of the conference hall of the event and inscriptions at vantage points directing participants to use alcohol hand sanitizers.
Officials of the Regional Health Directorate at the meeting insisted that participants rubbed their hands with the sanitizers before they entered the conference hall and during snack and lunch breaks.
It would be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his speech on Ghana’s 63rd Independence Day celebration advised Ghanaian to suspend handshakes and body contacts among others to minimise any possible spread of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
This advice was not completely adhered to at the function, probably because Ghanaians are used to their traditional handshakes, as the GNA observed that while some health and non-health staff avoided the practice of handshakes and hugging, others practiced it.
However, immediately after handshakes, some applied the alcohol hand sanitizers which were at their disposal.
Speaking to the GNA on the initiative, the Upper East Regional Deputy Director in charge of Public Health, Dr Josephat Nyuzaghl, said the use of alcohol hand sanitizers within the GHS was not new, but it had to be extended to public events.
He said people used their hands a lot at social gatherings and where facilities for hand washing were not readily available, sanitizers would help, “the hands generally can be said to be one of the most contaminated parts of the body.”
“Ideally the best thing to do is to wash your hands under running water using soap. Where we have a lot of people and the facilities may not be available for hand washing, hand sanitizer is equally effective.”
He explained that hand sanitizers contained about 70 per cent alcohol which reduced one’s chances of transferring infections, and said the Service deemed it necessary to insist on the usage of alcohol hand sanitizers as a way to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 in the Region.
Dr Nyuzaghl urged members of the public who could afford alcohol hand sanitizers to endeavour to use them as they went about their daily activities to minimise any possible spread of the disease.
The performance review meeting brought together some Municipal and District Chief Executives, health professionals across the Region and beyond, Civil Society Organisations in health and the media.
It was on the theme: “The role of quality data in achieving Universal Health Coverage in Upper East Region.”