By: Shalom Lumor| MyKuulFMonline|July 27, 2017
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Unilever Ghana Limited joint Tippy Taps Project has made tremendous progress in the Volta Region, with 10 percent drop in diarrhea diseases.
Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertey, the Volta Regional Health Director has confirmed that, the region has seen improvement in hand washing related diseases because of the Tippy Tap projects that have been implemented in all schools in by UNICEF.
“The drops have been 1% every year from 2014-2016, but in 2017 its 10% because of the Tippy Taps in the schools” he added.
In the year 2014, between January to June the region recorded 74 038 diarrhea cases, whiles in 2015 the region recorded 73 468 cases.
Again in 2016 it recorded 72 337 between January to June and in 2017 between January to June, the region has seen a significant 10% drops with 65 192 recorded cases of diarrhea.
“I can confidently say that it has worked beyond measures. Because now hand washing is a fun for children, and if your children are coming home with hand washing stories, automatically you the parent must joined hands with your child, the community is also involved” he exclaimed.
Meanwhile In a 3 day field trip by UUNICEF and Unilever Ghana Limited to some selected public basic schools to ascertain the results of the Tippy Taps Project, Madam Leticia Ackun who is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist with UNICEF said she is very impressed about the quick behavioral change in terms of hand washing among the children in the region.
Madam Ackun said, the Tippy Taps has been a success in the Volta Region, as she has seen every visited schools mounting more than five Tippy Taps on their compounds and she has also realized that children are washing their hands freely without teacher supervision.
“The schools has really embraced the Tippy Taps as another means by which they can promote handwashing, you could actually feel the delight of children washing their hands by just pressing the lever”
Madam Ackun has also added that, a survey had shown that, the residents of Volta Region is amendable to behavioral change, and also UNICEF is already partnering with Unilever in some other projects implementation, hence he Tippy Taps is an extension of their work in the region.
She also added that, the Tippy Tap project was selected to promote hand washing because, it was a cost effective way of preventing diarrhoea and cholera among school children.
“In the past, Ghanaians spend between one hundred and fifty to two hundred Ghana cedis in buying Veronica Buckets for the schools, but with the Tippy Taps, with five Ghana Cedis, anyone can mount Tippy Taps in their schools and communities.”
Moreover, Madam Cynthia Hiram Yaro who is with the corporate affairs department of Unilever Ghana Limited said, they find it important to partner UNICEF to implement the Tippy Tap project because its their intentions to touch lives.
Unilever as a business is premised on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plans where the main objectives is to help enhance lives, held the wellbeing of others.
“We are happy to hear that, the attendance to hospitals in the region has reduce and now children are safer.”
The Tippy Taps project has reached 3,900 basic schools and over 500,000 children in the Volta Region.
In an interview with a 10 year old primary five school girl, Briget Tulasi at the Kpando Gabi MA Basic said, now her friends do not fall sick frequently like they use to in the past.
“The “Tippy” is very good, now my friends are healthy, we come to school every day. And I am happy to be a champion too in my school too” she said happily.
As part of efforts to support the Government of Ghana to address the lack of hand washing facilities in schools, UNICEF together with Unilever, supported the School Health and Education Programme (SHEP) Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in a campaign to implement Tippy Taps in all Public Basic Schools in the Volta Region.
The tippy tap technology, an innovative way of promoting hand washing, is a hands free device used for washing hands. The technology requires locally available materials such as empty gallons, ropes and sticks.