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21.11.2005 Regional News

School Prefects to inspect food vendors' certifications

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Accra, Nov. 21, GNA - With the outbreak of cholera and other communicable diseases, school prefects of basic schools have been called upon to check food vendors in their school for certification. Dr John B. K. Yabani, Metro Director of Health Services, who made the call, said there was the need for prefects of basic schools to inspect health certificates of food vendors in their schools as a way of ensuring that they and their colleagues ate from hygienic sources. "As leaders of your schools, you have to ensure that you and your colleagues patronised food from only people, who have been certified as fit to sell food to you. If they refuse to show you their certificates, you have every right to organise a boycott of their foods and the vendors would be forced to do the right thing," he said.

Dr Yabani made the call on Monday at a sensitisation seminar organised by Youth For Christ Heritage (Yufrist), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) on: "The School, a Crucial Agency for Reformation Towards a Clean and Serene Environment; The Prefect's Role" Dr Yabani said the school was an important institution for children to learn about how to bring about changes within their communities. Hence if children were given the capacity to determine what was best for them, they could extend such attitudes to the larger community.

He said the life expectancy of the average Ghanaian was now 57 years and children, who were the future generation, could help to change this by maintaining healthy lifestyles through the maintenance of healthy environment.

He said in the last two year, Accra did not record any case of cholera outbreak until this year, and cholera being hygiene related disease, pointed to the fact that residents were not adhering to good hygienic practices this year.

Mr Frank Chinbuah, Chief Environmental Health Officer, who spoke on: "The Indiscriminate Disposal of Waste, Causes, Effects and Solutions, the Role of the Basic School Leader," said the problem of indiscriminate waste disposal within the city was an attitudinal problem.

He, therefore, called on school prefects to help to bring about change by ensuring that pupils in their schools did the right things. He said the Accra Metropolitan Assembly would embark on an educational programme on the use of the three "R" strategies. "Reduce waste; Re-use waste and Recycle waste" adding that if applied it would help to reduce the city's waste.

In a welcoming address Mr Godwin Elorm Nutekpor, Course Co-ordinator, Yufrist, urged the pupils to cultivate the habit of carrying waste until they saw a dustbin, before disposing of the waste. He said through such act, the nation's streets would be free of litter.