Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Global Handwashing Day today - prevention is better than cure

The first time I heard about the LifeBuoy Global Handwashing Day was through +Vanessa Kavi, a +Unilever employee contacted me about getting volunteers. We were neck deep in planning the second edition of the yearly National Volunteer Day. Unilever was interested in supporting and wanted the +Ghana Volunteer Program to help them meet a goal. Connecting volunteers to volunteer activities is GVP’s mandate so this partnership was set. A couple of weeks later, on October 15th to be precise, on Global Handwashing Day, over 233 Ghanaians will be contributing their time and effort to help a child reach 5. Kudos to +Felix Nartey +Ela Asare +Gerald Sowah +William Osilaja Boampong +Enock Seth Nyamador and +krystabel vorsah for leading this charge.
A couple of people have successfully made me feel guilty every time I visit the loo to do the do and leave it without washing my hands. It’s become second nature for me to wash my hands as often as possible. Even if I am in the cleanest of places. Ghana isn’t the cleanest of places. In fact, the city which Ghana is emptying into and which those attracted to Ghana end up in, is amongst the dirtiest. Accra is so filthy that this narrative is overpowering its competition on Google. If we get into the habit of keeping clean, we can wash our hands off this bad reputation Ghana is gaining. We can buoy more life into our Ghana brand.

The first time I returned to Ghana after being abroad, one thing that clearly struck me was the dust. In effect, the dirt. Many people are unhappy with the cholera situation in Accra but a lot of people are not surprised. The cholera situation is losing a lost cause versus ebola, because it hasn’t really left and is as preventable as ebola is uncurable. A few young Ghanaians took initiative in the midst of the Ebola jokes and chatter, and took to the streets with #NoChoBo (No cholera & Ebola). What else do you expect from people who are committed to telling our own stories - +BloggingGhana. When we realised we were getting lost in the Ice Bucket Challenge hype, +Joselyn Dumas launched and continues to push an X-cholera campaign, fighting cholera.


Clean up exercises have became a rave that President John Mahama is bringing back good memories of Jerry John Rawlings. They were popular with National Volunteer Day activity organizers as well. Lifebuoy was there with us, cleaning up in these sanitation drives. Hand sanitizers are expensive, living a healthy lifestyle can cut cost. Beach clean-ups happened in Cape Coast, Ada, etc. The La Beach’s situation is far gone that it needs some mobilization to clean up. In preparation for this, NShoreNa led some sensitization on the issue. The same kind of mobilization is happening for Lifebuoy Global Handwashing Day - #LifeBuoyGHD. The fulfillment in volunteering will fill the void of responsibility in meeting the goals of the #Helpachildreach5 campaign.


Today, you can take charge like those mentioned above. I’ve always believed in “prevention is better than cure”. Leaders prevent, leaders act. Volunteers accept the challenge on their own will. And will will solutions to problems. Volunteer to help us get rid of preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. These diseases are the top 2 killers of children under 5. Go tweet #Helpachildreach5. Now. Does that feel fulfilling? Doing it together and at the same time with many others is powerful. This is Global Handwashing Day. Let’s help our children (and communities) live and grow. +GhanaThink Foundation’s motto is “Less Talk, More Action”. Act today and at the end of the day, you can say “I Made Globe Better Today#IMGBT.

Watch this video. YouTube Link (Tree of Life).
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