Gender Minister-designate says her Ministry will explore the possibility of partnering with Unilever Ghana Limited to extend their Global Hand Washing Day (GHWD) initiative to other regions in the coming years.
Cynthia Morrison says one cannot overemphasise the importance of hand washing especially in the case of children.
She was speaking at an event organised by Unilever Ghana Limited, to mark this year’s Global Hand Washing Day (GHWD) with a handwashing festival at the Independence Square in Accra.
“Children love to play and they expose themselves to all kinds of germs when they do. A conscious effort to heighten their awareness about handwashing with soap under running water before breakfast, lunch, dinner, after visiting the toilet and during daily baths, is no doubt, a sure way to prevent our children from contracting Diarrhoea diseases,” she said.
The event celebrated on the theme “High5 for handwashing – Give us a high5 and we’ll teach five kids handwashing”, was aimed at teaching one million children in the country, the proper way of washing hands.
This year’s theme focuses on handwashing as an important part of keeping food safe, preventing diseases, and helping children grow strong. The theme, “Clean hands – a recipe for health, therefore reminds us to make handwashing a part of every meal.
The GHWD, which was co-founded by Unilever through its Lifebuoy soap brand, is aimed at promoting handwashing with soap under running water amongst children especially those aged five and below.
It was a way to combat diarrhoea and cholera diseases responsible for the deaths of over 10,000 children in Ghana every year.
Managing Director of Unilever, Ziobeieton Yeo
This year’s event in Accra attracted over 6,000 people including children. The day was marked with poetry recitals, plays and the inauguration of hygiene champions.
This is to reinforce the call for improved hygiene practices in homes, schools and communities to prevent diarrhoea and hygiene-related diseases.
The wife of the Vice President Samira Bawumia, who was the guest of honour commended Unilever Ghana for taking such giant steps to promote good health and hygiene habits among the populace.
“Indeed health is wealth…without a healthy population, our efforts at national development will not yield the desired results,” she said.
Mrs Bawumia said the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP), has also set itself the objective of empowering the underprivileged in Ghana through diverse social interventions to improve lives. She pledged to work with Unilever Ghana to guarantee a better life for them.
Also speaking at the event, Managing Director of Unilever, Ziobeieton Yeo said handwashing with soap under running water is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoea-related diseases.
“We have taken it upon ourselves to help communities around the world improve their hygiene through handwashing hence our decision to be a founding partner of the global handwashing day initiated in 2008,” he said.
This year’s event was scaled up as there was a concurrent event in Cape Coast to commemorate the day.
Other dignitaries present at the event included the Deputy Education Minister, Barbara Asher Ayisi; Deputy Health Minister, Tina Mensah; Deputy Sanitation Minister, Patrick Buamah; as well as the President and General Secretary of GNAT among others.