The 2021 Global Hand Washing Day has been commemorated at the Pwalugu cluster of schools in the Talensi District in the Upper East Region, organized by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service.
Eleven Junior High schools (JHS) including Balungu JHS, Gbeogo School for the Deaf, Balungu JHS, Tongo JHS and St. Matins JHS in Wakii participated in the event and carried out various demonstrations, innovative and prototype hand washing facilities, to help promote continuous hygiene practice among peer groups.
Out of the 11 schools, Balungu JHS emerged the top school with hand washing innovation project, taking home some detergents, sanitizers and tissues papers.
Mr Sheriff David Telly, a Senior Programmes Officer of the CRS who spoke with the Ghana News Agency in an interview on the side-lines of the event, said CRS continued to mark the Global Hand Washing Day by joining global partners since 2014, at its intervention areas and communities to help fight against communicable diseases and infections and also ensure good health and wellbeing of the people.
Speaking on the theme for this year's celebration; "Our Future is at Hand-Let's move forward Together ", Mr Telly noted that the day was a call for all to take care and protect their bodies.
"It is only with healthy bodies and minds that one can seek knowledge, skills and improve themselves," he said.
He said hand washing was a potent weapon in infectious disease control and added that since 2014 CRS Ghana, with the support of Hemsley Charitable Trust had implemented a number of sanitation and hygiene interventions in Ghana to the tune of $12 million in the last seven years under the ISHINE and ICOWASH projects.
The senior Programme Officer said that had resulted in improved access to safe drinking water to 81.7 per cent from 68.3 per cent and 70 per cent access to safe sanitation facilities from 27 per cent.
Access to hand washing stations also improved from 24.6 per cent to 79.3 per cent and knowledge of critical times for hand washing with soap increased from 88.2 per cent to 97.9 per cent.
He indicated that CRS would invest an additional $5million in the Mamprugu- Moaduri and West Mamprusi districts and Talensi through ICO WASH 2.0 project in the next two years.
Mr Telly called on government and development partners and traditional authorities to contribute their quota to enhance hygiene promotion especially in hand washing with soap among communities, schools and health care facilities.