By Joyce Danso
Accra, March 8, GNA-Soroptimist International Ghana (SIG) has held a day’s health advocacy programme to educate women and girls on personal hygiene and sanitation as part of activities to mark this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations.
Speaking at the Gbawe Mantse Palace in Accra, Mrs Philomena Otiduah, a Retired Nurse and Public Health Expert, said that most diseases break out because of dirt and filth within the various communities.
Mrs Otiduah, also a member SIG, said it was important for all to wash their hands and food before eating.
She said the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever was a result of the activities of rodents saying, ‘You should try and wash all canned food before eating or using them.”
According to her, rodents such as cockroaches and mice sometimes hide and play on canned foods and unwashed utensils at night.
“Your inability to wash these canned foods and used utensils could result in the outbreak of Lassa Fever. You must therefore wash used utensils before going to bed or wash those dishes with warm water before using them.”
The Public Health Expert told the women that the skin was one of the largest parts of the human body and appealed to them to ensure that they bathed at least twice a day.
“If you are clean all over your body, it boosts your confidence.”
She further reminded the women to avoid inserting fingers into their vaginas with the intent of cleaning them.
“The vagina is self-cleaning, you don’t need to insert your fingers or concoction in order to clean the vagina, if you do that, you may be introducing some fungi or bacteria into your vagina.”
She said it was appalling and bad practice for women to keep their braided hair for two to three months without washing them.
The Retired Nurse advocated the commencement of monthly communal labour in various communities to avert outbreaks of diseases.
Mrs Margaret Clarke Kwaisie, a member of SIG and a former Deputy Minister of Health urged the women to ensure good environmental practices within their communities and asked the public to consult the District Assemblies to assist them in addressing challenges beyond them.
Dr Cecilia Morkor Akita, Vice President, SIG said her organisation look to educate and empower women so they could contribute their quota to the development of the country.
Touching on the International Women’s Day theme dubbed: “We should all embrace equity,” Dr Akita appealed to the women to work harder to enjoy the benefits of equity.
Mrs Karen Korsah Amarteifio, President of SIG said this year International Women’s Day had coincided with her organisation’s 38 years of existence in Ghana.
Mrs Amarteifio recommended that women should not depend on men for all their needs but strive to work hard to fend for themselves.
She said SIG had plans of aiding the Gbawe Community with a library to inculcate reading habits among the young ones.
Nii Laryea Quartey, Acting Head /Dzasetse, Gbawe Kwatei Family, was elated that SIG decided to educate women of Gbawe on personal hygiene and sanitation saying the community needed more of those interactions to empower the women all the time.
SIG used the occasion to present detergents and packs of tissue papers to the elders of Gbawe Mantse Palace to be distributed to the women who attended the programme.
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement with a network of around 72,000 club members in 21 countries. It looks to advocate for human rights and gender equity.