HAND WASHING IN GHANA: INCULCATING A LIFETIME HABIT IN CHILDREn by Kojo Keelson
The world has not been the same since the Corona virus outbreak. Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020, its effects have been devastating (WHO, 2020). Millions have been infected, hundreds of thousands have succumbed to the virus and borders closed off. Countries have gone into lock down while countless people have lost their jobs. More importantly, social distancing, virtual learning and zoom meetings have become the new normal.
Gradually the world is emerging from the COVID pandemic. Countries are cautiously reopening its borders, lock-downs have lifted and schools have limited teaching schedules and employment sectors require only essential employees and healthcare workers. For third countries like Ghana, COVID-19 ravished the country’s economy and citizens. Despite being herald as a success story for having taken early decisive action, Ghana continues to face challenges with reopening its society due to debates surrounding mandatory face masks and hand washing stations in every school as well as social distancing measures.
While hand washing stations is of the utmost importance in water-stressed countries like Ghana, and hand washing being the most effective defense against the spread of COVID-19, teaching kids proper hand washing is not the easiest task. What is second nature to adults is often a forgotten skill that needs to teaching to kids. Hand washing has to become a standard and habit for kids. Because children are in contact with germs every day, teaching hand washing as a common practice is imperative to health of our kids and the benefits of hand washing in the end is enormous. It is incumbent on all Ghana ministers of health to help provide resources for teaching proper hand washing for our kids. This task is not difficult and can be fun for kids. Colorful soaps or cartoon characters that teach how to wash their hands while implementing CDC hand washing guidelines.
15th October is Global Hand washing Day and as we continue to raise awareness of hand washing, it is vital to remember that our kids are the most vulnerable
At this point everyday should be a Global Hand washing Day in the world and my country Ghana in particular. We cannot afford to fail at this. Together we can defeat the Corona virus and inculcate a very important lifetime habit in our kids. #Waterislife. #Handwashing saves lives.
Author: Kojo Keelson
Kojo Keelson is a Ghanaian citizen. He studied at the University of Cape, Coast and works with the Ghana Museums and Monument Board in Cape Coast, Ghana.