Accra, April 10, GNA - The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) on Monday donated 36 motorcycles and 10 helmets valued at 293 million cedis to the Ministry of Education and Sports to facilitate the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) in four regions. The Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta Regions are the beneficiaries.
Presenting the items, Mr Flemming Bjork Pedersen, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said the motorcycles were in addition to two vehicles, which had already been provided to the SHEP Coordinator and Technical Adviser. He said in conformity with the agreed programme regarding Danish support to rural water and sanitation, DANIDA was among other things supporting SHEP.
This component was focusing on building human resource capacity at all levels and at providing Ghana Education Service with the needed logistical support in terms of vehicles, motorcycles and computers. He said DANIDA had so far financed the construction of approximately 600 toilets at schools in the four Regions, adding that SHEP had awarded contracts to three consulting firms to train a similar number of school health committees at the schools, which had benefited from the support.
He appealed to the Ministry to extend a similar support to the other six regions, which were not receiving donor assistance towards school hygiene education.
Such a replication at the Government's own expense would be clear testimony regarding the Ghanaian Government's commitment towards promoting hygiene education as a method to improve the health of the pupils in the country's schools.
He urged the beneficiary districts to ensure proper an effective use and maintenance of the motorcycles and also to make sure that they were used in connection with school health and hygiene activities.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, who received the items said the MOES and the Ministry of Health were implementing SHEP focusing on skills-based health education, water, sanitation and environment, school health services, HIV/AIDS preventive education, food and nutrition and drugs and substance use and abuse.
He asked school children to wash their hands with soap before and after eating and appealed to school heads to promote hygienic practices in schools to help school pupils to be healthy.
He said to create a healthy school environment; children needed safe water and sanitation facilities, saying that was why the Ministry appreciated DANIDA's support in the provision of institutional latrines and promoting sanitation and hygiene.