Professor Simon Mariwah who is the Director of the Institute for Oil and Gas Studies at the University of Cape Coast but who is a Health and Development Geographer with research interests in Sanitation, Waste Management, Health Behaviours and Livelihoods has said that COVID-19 has only compelled us to improve upon our sanitary conditions which should have been part of our daily life long ago.
He said the issue of "handwashing with soap under running water and the application of sanitizers ought to have been part of our everyday life but that sadly hasn't and the emergence of COVID-19 has compelled all of us to fall in line". He continued that "humans don't normally want to do what is right willing except compelled to so and that is exactly what COVID-19 has done us as a people".
He said this among others when he was interviewed by Benjamin Tetteh Nartey on GBC Radio Central's Central Morning Show on the topic "Environmental Cleanliness, Hand Washing and Coronavirus Pandemic Management".
He further added that the "idea where all public institutions have provided Veronica buckets with water and soap and where all visitors are compelled to wash their hands before entering the premises was in line and very encouraging". He was however quick to add that all these ought to have been part of our daily lives.
Professor Mariwah outlined five major activities that demand hand washing before and others too after embarking on those activities. He said 1. hand washing must be done before cooking meals, 2. Wash hands after visiting the toilet, 3. Wash hands after changing the diapers of a child, 4. Wash after attending to a sick person and 5. Wash hands before eating any meal. He said the handwashing must be done with soap under running water.
He further advised that hand washing is very important not because of COVID-19 but would prevent us from getting other diseases if that becomes our habit.
When asked what can be done going forward, he said he "hopes that this habit of handwashing and the provision of such facilities at almost all vantage points in our country must continue and be made part of lifestyle after COVID-19".
He concluded that "hand washing should be a habit not because of COVID-19 but it has the potential of protecting us against many other diseases including cholera, typhoid and others".