water

As a matter of urgency, WaterAid Ghana (WAG) has entreated the government to swiftly ensure all communities across Ghana have access to safe water to practice hand hygiene to protect their lives against the scourge of COVID-19.

Handwashing is one of the simplest and most effective disease prevention methods available. It’s been shown to reduce cases of acute respiratory infection by 16-23%7, 50% reduction in pneumonia8 and up to 48% reduction in risk of endemic diarrhoea9.

According to WaterAid Ghana, in some communities, high numbers of people do not have access to clean water close to their homes or a place to wash their hands.

About 14% of Ghanaians use water from unsafe sources, 22% defecate in the open and 28% do not have facilities to practice basic hygiene such as handwashing with soap under running water.

(MICS 2017/ 18) This lack of facilities creates a higher risk of illness and disease transmission, including the spread of the coronavirus.

WAG, however, underscored the need for all healthcare centres globally to deliver safe, quality care always.

With necessary water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and practices, healthcare centres will be better placed to support delivery of safe, quality care everyday – and build resilience for responding to an outbreak such as we are experiencing across the globe.

With the availability of clean water, health care workers will be able to provide safer care to patients and protect themselves.

According to WaterAid Ghana, with the availability of clean water, health care workers will be able to provide safer care to patients and protect themselves.

However, the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Abdul Nashiru Mohammed said, “Government must back its hygiene campaigns with the needed water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to make it more practical.

If everyone, everywhere had a place to wash their hands with soap and water as often as needed, and practiced good handwashing behaviours, it would go a long way towards helping to contain and prevent the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19,” he emphasized.

WaterAid Ghana (WAG) is an international not-for-profit organisation working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation.

Below is the full statement

PRESS RELEASE
21st March 2020

It is time to invest in preparedness and not panic

This year’s World Water Day is being marked under very tense circumstances, at a time when the world is struggling to overcome the menace of corona virus (COVID-19). This situation has compelled people to shift priorities to protecting their lives by practicing good hygiene to stay healthy and safe from the virus. WaterAid agrees with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Director-General, Dr Tedros, that now is the time “for all countries to invest in preparedness not panic”10. Government must as a matter of urgency ensure all communities across Ghana have access to safe water to practice hand hygiene to protect their lives against the scourge of COVID-19.

Frequent handwashing with soap and water is one of the most important and cost-effective ways of controlling the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. But in some communities, high numbers of people do not have access to clean water close to their homes or a place to wash their hands. About 14% of Ghanaians use water from unsafe sources, 22% defecate in the open and 28% do not have facilities to practice basic hygiene such as handwashing with soap under running water. (MICS 2017/ 18) This lack of facilities creates a higher risk of illness and disease transmission, including the spread of the coronavirus.

Handwashing is one of the simplest and most effective disease prevention methods available. It’s been shown to reduce cases of acute respiratory infection by 16-23%7, 50% reduction in pneumonia8 and up to 48% reduction in risk of endemic diarrhoea9.

Healthcare centres globally need to deliver safe, quality care always. With necessary water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and practices, healthcare centres will be better placed to support delivery of safe, quality care everyday – and build resilience for responding to an outbreak such as we are experiencing across the globe. With the availability of clean water, health care workers will be able to provide safer care to patients and protect themselves. Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Abdul Nashiru Mohammed said, “Government must back it’s hygiene campaigns with the needed water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to make it more practical.”

If everyone, everywhere had a place to wash their hands with soap and water as often as needed, and practiced good handwashing behaviours, it would go a long way towards helping to contain and prevent the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.

END

Further resources

https://washmatters.wateraid.org/blog/handwashing-with-soap-why-should-we-care

For more information, please contact: The Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaign, George Yorke on 0209985760 or the Communications and Campaign Officer, Yvonne Kafui Nyaku on 0209989518
Notes to Editors:
WaterAid
WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @Wateraid UK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
• 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
• 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
• Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
• Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
• Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]
• To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database www.WASHwatch.org

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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