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Lack of toilets kill 63,000 children in Ghana since 2000

November 20, 2014 4:17 PM
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Today over 40 prominent international health and development experts including WaterAid, the World Medical Association, the Ghana Anaesthetist Society, the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana federation of Allied Health Professions, the Ghana Pharmaceutical Council and others have called for an end to a crisis that has claimed the lives of over 10 million children under the age of five since the year 2000. This include the over 63,000 children who have died over this period in Ghana['].

In an open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon[21, the signatories highlight the desperate waste of life caused by people not having access to a basic toilet. Without basic sanitation, children have no choice but to live and play in areas contaminated by human waste.

Over eight in ten children in Ghana do not have access to basic toilets{31, which alongside unsafe drinking water and a lack of hygiene services, contributes to three of the main killers of children: under nutrition, pneumonia and diarrhoea, the letter states.

The letter, coordinated by the international development organisation WaterAid, has been published to coincide with World Toilet Day, also highlights that the sanitation `crisis touches every moment of every child’s life, from birth to adulthood, if they are lucky enough to make it that far’.

The Head of Policy and Partnerships of WaterAid Ghana, Ibrahim Musah today said: “Many Ghanaian children go through the daily drudgery of wandering in the bush or dangerous locations searching for a place to relieve themselves. These children are among the 21.7 million people who do not have basic toilets to use in Ghana. He said this situation harms their health and often leaves a lifetime legacy of disease and poverty.

Mr. Musah added that “These children need our government to collectively step up and commit that by 2030 no home, hospital or school will be without a toilet and clean water.”

The release of the letter to the UN Secretary-General comes at a crucial time, as governments work to complete the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that run from 2000 to 2015, and negotiate the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace them. WaterAid Ghana is calling on the Government to commit to backing a new goal for everyone everywhere to have access to clean water and basic sanitation by 2030.

To mark this year’s World Toilet day, WaterAid organised a vigil at Anusa a suburb of Bukom in the Odododiodio constituency in Accra on the l 8th November 2014. The community welcomed the 2014 World toilet day with different activities including a procession from Akoto Lante to Anusa, a Toilet Party and the viewing of a documentary on sanitation. All these activities set the tone for an open forum and community discussions on the best way to manage fecal matter in the community.

Today the 19th November, the World Toilet Day, WaterAid will orgnaise a sanitation market this morning in the same community, Anusa, to introduce landlords in the community to the various options of latrines available. This exhibition is to encourage landlords t instruct latrines in their houses for tenants.

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Source: spyghana.com

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