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27.08.2015 Health

Health experts urged to ensure health education

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Accra, Aug. 27, GNA - Health experts have been urged to ensure public health education, in order to prevent diseases and epidemic outbreaks.

'It does not always have to cost so much money to ensure public health. All it takes often, is people knowing the nits and grits. The very basic principles of staying healthy and preventing disease outbreak.'

Dr. Darlington Owusu, Head of the Veterinary Unit, Kotoka International Airport (KIA), told the Ghana News Agency at the end of a Joint Consultative Committee Meeting at the KIA, in Accra.

Organized by the KIA Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) Collection, the meeting was attended by representatives of various stake-holders at the airport such as freight forwarders, exporters and CEPS officials, amongst others.

Dr. Owusu, who chaired the meeting, explained that 'the general understanding for example is that, it is very important to wash one's hands, especially after certain activities such as visiting the toilet.'

'Most people would after washing their hands, touch the door handle, which may have been touched by others using the same facility, and may not have washed their hands.'

Dr. Owusu said it was therefore possible for an epidemic to spread because preventive methods were not accurately being applied.

He said whilst a person might think that cooking infected meat would kill disease causing organisms, it was important to note that, the danger did not only come from the meat being consumed into the body.

'You may not consider the water you used in washing the contaminated body, which you might pour away and may end up being drunk by a healthy animal, or even splashing very lightly on a human being,' said the Doctor.

He continued, 'even vegetarians who may think they are safe from diseases that are transferred through meat, may not know, that a knife used in cutting contaminated meat, was not washed properly and was used in cutting their vegetables.'

Touching on other examples, Dr. Owusu noted, that HIV Aids for example, had been stressed to be transmitted only through sexual intercourse, whilst there were other means such as blood transfusion.

"People for example only think of rabies as an ailment that could be gotten if one gets bitten by a dog. The truth is that if a rabid dog licks an open wound on your body, you could get infected," he said.

Dr. Owusu said it was very important that the laws that governed the slaughtering, movement of animals and animal parts to and from the country, as well as within the country were strictly obeyed in order to minimize disease outbreak.

The Joint Consultative Meeting is a World Customs Organization concept, which states that there should be a stake-holder consultation, before policies are implemented.

This is to ensure that the policies are acceptable to all stake-holders, without any set-backs.

The meetings are held three times a year, and this meeting is the second to be held at the KIA.


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