The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has entreated market women and other traders to practice personal hygiene to render hygienic services to their customers.
Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister, who gave the advice, said since traders handled money, food, and other edibles, it was important they washed their hands properly, especially when they visited the washrooms.
At the launch of the 2022 Global Handwashing Day at the Kejetia Market in Kumasi, Mrs Dapaah said washing of hands properly could save a million lives every year as opportunistic diseases like cholera, dysentery and COVID-19 would be prevented.
Global Handwashing Day, which is celebrated on October 15, is to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to deliberate on essential and sustainable hand hygiene interventions.
This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene”.
The Ministry’s choice of the market was because market players had critical roles to play in promoting hygiene in terms of food stuff and ensuring their safety for consumption.
“It is, therefore, important to throw more light on the relationship between food and hygiene practices,” the Minister said.
“Hand washing is an important part of a set of hygiene behaviours that keep food safe and prevent food-related illnesses.”
Mrs Dapaah said the contamination of food items with fecal matter could easily occur without conscious effort to practice hand washing with soap under running water.
She called on the public to make hand washing a priority in their daily activities to ensure better health for all.
She donated 10 hand washing sets of equipment to the Kejetia Market Traders’ Association to enhance the hand washing culture in the market.
Nana Kwasi Prempeh, the President, Federation of Kumasi Traders, pledged to continue the education on sanitation and hygiene during their meetings and maintain healthy surroundings at the point of sales.
He appealed to the Ministry to supply them with more hand washing equipment as there were more than 7,000 traders in the market.
He said the available kits would not be sufficient to ensure hygiene and health among traders and customers who patronised the facility.