Mrs Clara Sowah, Director, Social Protection and Community Department, Tema West Municipal Assembly, has urged Ghanaians to continuously adopt proper handwashing habits and hand hygiene to prevent contracting Covid-19 and other diseases.
She said keeping clean hands by observing proper hand hygiene practices had stemmed, partly, the number of Covid-19 cases and recorded deaths in the country.
According to her, handwashing should not just be a routine, but a critical step in reducing infections especially in the midst of Covid-9, a key reminder that hand hygiene was nonnegotiable in preventing diseases.
Mrs Sowah was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a community engagement in Adjei Kojo – Tema West, to sensitize the residents on improved hand hygiene and proper handwashing as the most effective approach to stop the spread of diseases.
The engagement, in partnership with the Lions Club International, afforded participants the opportunity to learn some hand-on skills in commercial production of liquid soap and hand sanitizers.
October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. It is on the theme: “Hand Hygiene for all.”
The Director said “with the outbreak of Covid-19 globally, handwashing was the first strategy adopted to curtail the spread of the virus, ” explaining that there was need to sensitize the communities on proper handwashing behaviours at the societal level and ensure that it becomes a long-term habit and custom.”
She noted that it was valuable for residents to know the health benefits of handwashing and the need to sustain the practice even when Covid-19 was eradicated, adding that it had become evident that hand hygiene practices had increased with the outbreak of the virus after continuous sensitization.
She said water had become easily accessible with government’s intervention in the wake of the outbreak, stressing that for people to be able to practice proper handwashing, there needed to be handwashing facilities that were conveniently located and easy to use in communities.
Miss Theresa Ansaa Anafi, Unit Head, Community Development, TWMA, told the GNA that the current pandemic had further highlighted the vital role hand hygiene played in disease transmission and said a culture of proper handwashing was key in curbing the spread of Covid-19.
While demonstrating appropriate handwashing techniques with participants, she informed that handwashing was the most effective way to prevent the spread of diseases.
She said “wet your hands with clean running water, turn off the tap and apply soap, lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap – lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.”
“Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, rinse your hands well under clean running water, and dry hands using clean disposable tissue” she added, and noted that handwashing practice should be a regular undertaking.
Mr Alexander Tetteh, Vice President, Elite Lions Club of Accra, said the club focused on health as a key area of its operations hence ts decision to provide logistical support for the commemoration of this year’s Global Handwashing Day.