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19.10.2005 Regional News

Improve environmental sanitation to check cholera outbreak - Kwarteng

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Obuasi, Oct. 19, GNA - Mr Ernest Yaw Kwarteng, an Assistant Director of Administration at the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, has observed that the reported isolated cases of cholera in Kumasi and Accra pose a challenge to Ghanaians to rededicate themselves to clean environmental sanitation.

He said the reported cases of cholera in the two cities was sending a signal that: "We need to be careful with ourselves and also ensure clean environment".

Mr Kwarteng made the observation at the launch of public partnership for hand washing with soap programme at Obuasi on Tuesday. The programme was a collaborative initiative between the Obuasi Municipal Assembly and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency. He emphasised the importance of hand washing with soap since it checked the contamination of food and other consumables. Mr Kwarteng challenged the public to embrace the hand washing with soap idea and to ensure that it was practiced in schools, homes, markets, offices and other workplaces.

"I wish to emphasise that it is only through cleanliness supported by hand washing with soap that we can avoid contracting diseases and illness like diarrhoea and its associated complications", he stressed. Demonstrating how to go about with the hand washing with soap at the launch, which was attended by school children, students, chop bar operators and the general public, Miss Afua Dansoa Sefa, a Senior Nursing Officer at the Obuasi Government Hospital, said there was the need for the hand washing to be done with soap and clean water. Miss Georgina Oklu, Deputy Director of Nursing Services who presided on behalf of the Municipal Director of Health, Dr S. Osei-Somuah, expressed concern about the public's poor attitude to hand washing with soap. She noted that a lot of people were bound to suffer from the cholera if they failed to observe clean environmental sanitation and personal hygiene.

Miss Oklu urged the school children to embrace the hand washing with soap habit so that their academic work was not disturbed by illness. She appealed to Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) to support the idea by providing their schools with the buckets and soap.