Mr Issaka Anas Abdulai, Upper East Regional Coordinator of the School Health and Education Programme (SHEP), has called on school-based health committees to intensify the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in schools, to ensure environmentally clean and healthy schools.
He also urged teachers to monitor and ensure effectiveness of all school based WASH activities as enshrined in school health education guidelines.
Mr Abdulai who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, said WASH was aimed at improving hygiene and sanitation in schools.
Counting the gains made in promoting WASH in schools, the Coordinator reiterated that a lot of work and other different interventions were undertaken to encourage many basic schools in the region to implement innovative WASH activities.
He said the Tippy Taps slogan, which was used to encourage children to wash their hands, to ensure cleanliness after visits to toilets, was in place in most of the schools, while the ‘Veronica buckets’, were being used in the Bongo district and its environs to ensure good hygiene.
Football matches were also used to promote WASH in schools, he said.
He explained that SHEP was meant to ensure the provision of comprehensive health and nutrition education and related support services in schools to equip children with basic life skills for healthy living that will inure to improving child survival and educational outcomes, including; school enrolment, retention and academic performance.
At every school, a teacher is designated as a School-based Health Coordinator (SBHC), to promote SHEP activities such as Skills-based Health Education, Food Safety Nutrition and Education, safe and healthy School Environment and disease Prevention and Control.
Touching on the health of pupils, he said increasing patronage of candies by school children was not good for their health and asked teachers to help reduce children’s intake of such sweets.
He said lack of funds was hindering the implementation of innovations that enhanced SHEP activities, and commended UNICEF, CRS and other benevolent organizations for supporting SHEP and the Ghana Education Service (GES) in their endeavour to promote school hygiene.