First Lady Mrs. Akufo-Addo dispels long held saying that “African germs don’t kill”

| Updated Oct 17, 2017 at 11:27pm



Children use their hands to pick, lift, touch, hold, smear, fix things and in the process, their hands come into contact with all manner of germs, which can be dangerous to their health if ingested.

It is for these reasons, it is significance for children’s hands to their health and for that matter their future cannot be overemphasized. That's according to Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo, said these at this year’s Global Hand-washing Day festival organised by Unilever Ghana Limited, at the Independence Square in Accra.

The First Lady, who was the special guest at the festival, used the occasion to dispel the long held belief that African germs don’t kill saying, “a visit to our CHPS compounds, health centers, clinics and hospitals gives an indication of the health implications of ignorantly swallowing that seemingly harmless dirt on a child’s hands”.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo emphasized that hand-washing with soap is a “do it yourself vaccine” that prevents infections and saves lives and urged all Ghanaians to make it a habit.

Each year, Lifebuoy commemorates the day, which is observed on October 15, by calling on people to inculcate the habit of washing hands with soap under running water.

Dubbed “High5 for hand-washing- Give us a high5 and we’ll teach 5 kids hand-washing”, the objective of the hand-washing festival was to teach one million children in the country, the proper way of washing hands.

According to Unilever Ghana, the festival was also aimed at heightening awareness about Lifebuoy’s commitment to hand-washing with soap under running water before breakfast, lunch, dinner, after visiting the toilet and during daily bath.

The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana Limited, Yeo Ziobeieton, in his remarks, said the company finds it worrying that although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands.

“Even when soap is available, it is sometimes reserved for laundry and bathing instead of for hand-washing. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively than doing so with only water”, he emphasized.

Lifebuoy has over the years raised social consciousness in relation to adopting hygienic behaviors that promote human sustainability.

Mr. Ziobeieton therefore encouraged Ghanaians to share their High5s with Lifebuoy using #high5forhandwashingGh.

The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana said “the Unilever Ghana Foundation, recently handed over seven newly constructed hygiene stations to selected basic schools within the Tema metropolis at a total cost of GHC800,000.

It is estimated that over 3,800 pupils and an additional 6,500 community members would benefit from the facilities. This is another initiative by Unilever to help enhance sanitation and hygiene needs of Ghanaians”, Mr. Ziobeieton said.

The event brought together about 2500 children and dignitaries from the Ministries of Education, Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection as well as Water Resources and Sanitation. It was also used to set two Guinness World Records on hand-washing with soap.

Unilever Ghana was established in 1992 through the merger of UAC Ghana and Lever Brothers and is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.