The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the Ghana Health Service to implement Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in three municipalities in the Ashanti Region.
Selected communities and schools in Asokore Mampong, Kwadaso and Kumasi Metro are to benefit from the interventions aimed at scaling up good hygiene and sanitation practices as a strategy to promote good health.
As part of the interventions, facilitators would engage communities to develop action plans that would guide them to sustain good hygienic practices as a people.
These are expected to prevent WASH related diseases such as diarrhea and malaria in schools and communities and significantly contribute to improved health outcomes.
The Regional Health Directorate has, therefore, held an inception meeting with stakeholders at the school and community levels to discuss their roles in the implementation of the interventions.
The three-day meeting was attended by Municipal School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinators, Health Promotion Officers, Community Health Nurses, School-Based Health Coordinators and Environmental Health Workers at the local level.
They were taken through community engagement skills, developing key messages, understanding the audience, and public communication among other things.
Madam Charity Nikoi, a Communication Specialist with UNICEF, said the intervention sought to enhance the knowledge and understanding of school health education programmes with emphasis on WASH.
She was hopeful that the competence of participants would improve to conduct downstream training for school-level stakeholders.
She entreated them to aid the stakeholders at the local level to draw their community action plans to promote WASH activities among the beneficiary communities even after the end of the intervention.
Dr Michael Rockson Adjei, the Deputy Ashanti Director of Health Services in charge of Public Health, reminded the participants that the fight against the covid-19 pandemic was not over.
He, therefore, entreated them to ensure the compliance of the COVID-19 preventive protocols in all their community engagements.
As stakeholders in health, they must set good examples at all times for others to look up to them in observing the safety protocols.