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Make Hand-Washing With Soap Your Habit - Minister   
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Ms. Helen Adjoa Ntoso, the Eastern Regional Minister, has urged Ghanaians to make hand-washing with soap and water their habit.

“The challenge now is to ensure that hand washing with soap and water at critical times does not become an annual ritual but a habit among the general populace,” she said.

Ms. Ntoso was speaking at the sixth National Commemoration of the Global Hand Washing Day at Jumapo in the New Juaben Municipality on Tuesday.

She urged all to wash their hands always, especially after the toilet and before handling food, adding that, “washing with soap means disease causing pathogens are no match to the power in your hands.”

Ms. Ntoso pledged the government’s commitment to continue to make access to potable water and improved sanitation to the ordinary Ghanaians a priority.

That, she said would make water readily available to make it easier for everyone anywhere and whenever necessary to be able to get clean water to wash their hands with soap.

The Regional Minister also assured the commitment of the Regional Coordinating Council to make the adoption of hygienic practices, especially hand washing with soap an easier choice for the people in the region.

She commended the concerted efforts of all stakeholders including the Ghana Health Service, the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the media among others to sensitize communities to observe hygienic practices.

Ms. Ntoso said in 2012 alone, the Eastern Region recorded nine deaths out of a total of 662 cholera cases nationwide, saying, “such deaths are a heavy toll on our valuable human resource and regrettable because they are preventable.”

Mr. Gilbert Amoah Ayamgah, the Regional Director for the CWSA, urged all stakeholders to continue to support the hand washing programme in the country to achieve its goals of preventing the spread of cholera and to promote the culture of hand-washing with soap among others.

“Hand- washing with soap is a key action in protecting the health of the public because it is a mainstay in infection control; and that saves lives,” he said.

In a speech read on her behalf, Ms. Susan Ngongi, Country Representative for United Nations Children Education Fund, admonished parents to encourage hand- washing with soap and water among their children so they could grow with that culture.
Source: GNA

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