31.03.2005 Regional News

Workshop on school hygiene launched

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Koforidua, March 31, GNA - The Eastern Regional Deputy Minister, Ms Susana Mensah, on Wednesday launched a regional orientation workshop on the phase two of the implementation of the School Hygiene Education Programme (SHEP) component of the DANIDA Water and Sanitation Sector Support at Koforidua.

The five-year project, covering the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta and Central regions, would involve the collaboration of the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in the provision of school hygiene education and provision of institutional latrines. The first phase project with the support of the Danish International Development Agency ran between 1999 and 2003 and covered the Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions, during which the CWSA provided 571 KVIP latrines to schools.

In her launching address, Ms Mensah noted that effective school hygiene education in the curriculum of schools would go a long way to reduce deaths of children resulting from preventable water-borne diseases.

She, however, noted that, the objective of the programme could not be achieved without the collaboration among stakeholders like the Ministry of Health, district assemblies, traditional authorities and decentralized departments of the Central Government. Ms Mensah said government was not only committed to the supply of water but to also ensure that safe water was not polluted along the line through unhygienic conditions or poor sanitation.

The National SHEP Co-ordinator, Mrs Mary Quaye, in her overview of the programme, explained that the SHEP involved activities that ensured safe and healthy school environment among students, thus reducing and preventing morbidity among school children.

She said under the phase two, which runs from 2004 to 2008, the Facility User Education (FUE) Component on the latrines had been transferred from the CWSA to the GES and called on the participants from the districts to form collaborative committees involving the district assemblies and the Environmental Protection Council (EPA) to maintain them

The Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the SHEP, Ms Sarah Simpson, was happy that under the phase two, the Suhum/Kraboa/Coalta, Birim South and Birim North districts would be brought on board to enjoy the programme.

The Eastern Regional Manager of the CWSA, Mr Philip Amannor, who chaired the function, called on the stakeholders to ensure that hygiene education was extended to communities, since it fell within the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy programme. About 140 participants including District Chief Executives, District Directors of Education, District Co-ordinating Directors, health officials and accountants attended the workshop.

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