Postgraduate students from the Regional Water Environmental and Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK), of the College of Engineering has celebrated the Global Hand Washing Day with a community outreach at the Asem Cluster of Schools in Kumasi. The event which saw the participation of pupils and teachers from 17 public basic schools was on the theme: “Clean Hands, a Recipe for Health”.
Coordinator of the Graduate Students at RWESCK, Muriel Naa L. Ofei-Quartey, said the event is to educate school children on Water, Sanitation and Environment (WASH) issues and how they affect the health of citizens including children.
Miss Ofei-Quartey said the event sought to sensitise the pupils on hand washing as globally, 15th October, has been set aside for public awareness and activities on hand washing, they therefore targeted children as they often engage in a lot of activities and get their hands dirty.
She continued that the Centre believed that if children are educated on the benefits of hand washing at a younger age, hand washing would be part of their life. She noted that the selection of a public school by her team was a good choice as most often, they are neglected in such campaigns as compared to private schools.
Professor Mrs. Esi Awuah, Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Chairperson for the occasion, in her presentation on hygiene told the children that there are microorganisms that are harmful to the human body. Most of the organisms, she said are spread through the hands and underscored the need to wash hands frequently. She indicated that due to the Ghanaian cultural system, handshaking is unavoidable and it is one of the ways by which germs spread quickly from one person to another.
Prof. Mrs. Awuah encouraged the children and the teachers to wash their hands after exercising, after visiting public places, washroom, playing, playing with their pests as well as before and after eating. She ended by saying that hand washing saves life and further entreated the children to observe personal hygiene by cleaning their bodies, especially the pubic areas.
Dr. Helen M. K. Essandoh, demonstrated the hand washing process to the gathering and explained the eight (8) steps of the hand washing process to the gathering. The pupils and students also took turns to wash their hands.
Mr. Samuel Agyemang Badu, Postgraduate Student at RWESCK, educated the gathering on cholera and explained the causes, symptoms, treatment and preventive measures of the disease to the teachers and pupils. He added that cholera and typhoid are caused by filth and advised them to keep their surroundings clean to prevent the disease.
Mr. Agyemang Badu said that houseflies also spread diseases from dirty environment and advised them to keep the environment clean. He advised them to dispose of rubbish appropriately and not dump them into water sources.
In a related development, Prof. Mrs. Awuah led the RWESCK postgraduate students to donate “veronica buckets”, basins, liquid soaps, tissue papers and other hand washing equipment valued at over four thousand Cedis to the schools who participated in the event.