From Sammy Asare, Kenyasi – Ahafo Region
The Centre for Diseases Control ( CDC) survey has revealed that safe water and good sanitation remain problematic at Schools and Health Facility Centres ( HFC) in the Asutifi North District of Ahafo Region thus posing danger to the lives of residents.
The survey was conducted at seven HFC, 73 Public Schools and 17 Private Schools in the district in accordance with the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene initiative, which is to ensure that by 2030 all residents in the district will have access to safe water and good sanitation.
The officials of CDC disclosed this at a meeting held at the Education Conference Hall at Kenyasi, the capital, for Stakeholders of the two institutions (School and HFC) including officers in charge of all health centres, Circuit Supervisors, Head teachers.
According to CDC, all the HFC visited had water for their activities but the safety of the water was questionable and poses threats to the people who patronise the centres.
The report indicates that the water used is always contaminated due to the chain of distributions saying most containers used are contaminated, which makes the water unsafe to be used. People who visit the HFC also dip their fingers with cups provided to fetch water from containers and makes it unhygienic.
Still at HFC, it was disclosed that most of the Health Workers do not often wash their hands immediately after attending to a patient with soap and water. What they do is to quickly get to the next patient for treatment and this practise is unhygienic since some diseases are easily transferred to others.
CDC again said per its observation, the HFCs are not having materials to be used immediately a patient visits the latrine and this is a bad practice. The report indicated that at some Health Centres, bowls, soaps and water for someone to clean the hands after attending the nature’s call is far from where the latrine is located. Towels for cleaning too are major challenge since most are not collected and washed, but rather they remain there for long to be used by several people.
It came to light that most latrines meant for health centres are now used by community members and it is making the place untidy and poses threat to the people who visit the place.
At Schools, the CDC revealed that most schools do not have water at all making pupils to travel on long distances to fetch water for school activities like washing, cooking and others, which affects academic work.
It noted that most of the water thus fetched are not well treated so it poses danger to the lives of both teaching staff and the pupils. At schools too, most containers are not in the best of conditions and again it endangers their lives.
Most schools do not have designed areas where pupils will wash and clean their hands as expected and it calls for immediate attention. The report says if care not taken, diseases might emerge and disaster will strike.
Open defecation is also gradually popping-up at schools due to the non availability of latrines and it is a dangerous thing that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The report says, some schools have decided to lock up a section of the latrine they have due to the reason that the seats are so many and some must be reserved.