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12.07.2008 Education

GES Director condemns vandalism of toilet facilities

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The Director of the School Health Education Programme (SHEP), of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam,
has condemned the increasing spate of vandalism and sabotage of toilet facilities belonging to basic schools and called on District Assemblies to institute measures to deal with the threats.
She said the situation had reached a “disheartening” stage and would require the urgent intervention of assemblies and community leaders to ensure that facilities designed for the health needs of pupils were not despoiled and sullied by unruly persons.
“It does not stand to reason that because you do not have a latrine in the house or your community, you must take over that of the school”, said Mrs Bosumtwi-Sam, at the on-going Mole Conference on Sanitation in Koforidua.
The GES Director's paper touched on the relevance of the SHEP towards augmenting the health needs of school pupils as part of a more elaborate effort of the government in improving the health needs of the citizenry.

Organized by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), it is a platform that enables expertise discussion on cross-cutting issues affecting the expansion and acceleration of sanitation facilities in the country in a bid to meeting the targets set under the Millennium Development Goals.

Mrs Bosumtwi-Sam said vandalism of school sanitary facilities was getting out of control and cited a recent incident in the Abokobi area where a Unit Committee Chairman even wrote to her office to demand a complete take-over of the local basic school's property for use by the community.

The Director also expressed worry about the situation where some assemblies were still constructing school buildings without attaching sanitary facilities and called for a rethinking of such posturing since it rolls back than helping advance the situation of the child.

Mr Philip Akanzinge, an expert on health insurance, in his presentation said the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Scheme partly hinged on the ability of the state to reduce the high incidence of health ailments that are induced by poor hygienic practices.

He therefore appealed to the mutual health schemes to commit a percentage of their administrative cost on advocacy on health and sanitation to help contain the situation.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Church of Christ Sanitation Programme, Mr Nathaniel Adam, expressed concern about the attempts by some politicians to scuttle sanitation programmes being introduced to help uplift the health conditions of the people.

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