Hygiene promotion is the most cost-effective health action to reduce diseases according to the World Bank.
Latest statistics dated 2020 show 2.3 billion people lacked access to basic hygiene services which includes handwashing facilities with soap and water.
It is against this backdrop that World Hand Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on May 5, to raise awareness on the importance of good hand hygiene in healthcare and to unite people around the world in support of overall hygiene improvement.
This year’s theme, “Accelerate action together. SAVE LIVES –Clean Your Hands” highlights the critical role that hand hygiene plays in preventing the spread of infections and antimicrobial resistance in our environment.
To emphasize the importance of proper hand hygiene for younger generations, Vivo Energy Ghana, Shell licensee, in partnership with the United Way Ghana have marked this important day with pupils from the La Enobal Basic School and neighbouring schools. This is also in line with the company’s commitment to growing with its host communities.
As part of this sensitisation programme, the school received a donation of hand hygiene resources, including soap, hand sanitizers, and tissues to promote good hand hygiene practices. The schoolgirls were also provided with sanitary products to promote menstrual hygiene management.
The Headteacher of La Enobal Basic School, Michael Odonkor, expressed his gratitude to Vivo Energy Ghana and the United Way Ghana for their ongoing support and promised to uphold good hygienic standards in the school.
The collaboration of the two organisations contributes to the global effort to highlight the importance of good hand hygiene habits in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, especially in schools where children are most vulnerable.
Commenting on hand hygiene, the Corporate Communications Manager of Vivo Energy Ghana Shirley Tony Kum who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director stated that “As a leading energy company in Ghana, we are committed to promoting and practicing good hand hygiene in all aspects of our operations. We continue to implement strict hand hygiene protocols to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers and it is for this reason that we are pleased with this collaboration which will create awareness and educate the pupils and by extension the community on the importance of hand hygiene. As we commemorate World Hand Hygiene Day, let us all commit to accelerating action to prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance in our educational institutions”, she said.
Touching on the significance of the day, Felix Kissiedu, the Executive Director of the United Way Ghana, said, “United Way is committed to eradicating all impediments that hinder access to quality education, such as diseases, some of which can be prevented through simple means like practicing proper hand hygiene, and for this reason we, as an organization, are delighted to partner with Vivo Energy Ghana to sensitize these young ones.”
He further emphasised the importance of making hand hygiene a daily habit to improve the health and well-being of the pupils saying, “World hand hygiene day is an annual event, but we are to note that hand hygiene has to be an everyday activity”.
The School Health Education Program (SHEP) Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service for the La Dade-Kotopon Municipality, Constance Sekyere, acknowledged the effort of the organisations and made a clarion call on everyone to make handwashing a culture as it was during the COVID-19 era.
The event featured poetry recitals and choreography on hand hygiene by the pupils. Vivo Energy Ghana’s green champions and volunteers also educated the pupils on the five handwashing steps i.e., wetting the hands under running water, applying soap, rubbing the hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinsing with water, and drying with a clean towel or tissue.
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