Shape Attitude Ghana Attends COHHETI Meeting

Shape Attitude Ghana was invited to the 10th Meeting of Conference of Heads of Health Training Institutions (COHHETI) in Ghana which took place in Cape Coast from 28 September to 3 October 2015. The theme for the meeting was “Sanitation for All” with sub themes on Refuse, Water and Housing.

Wonderful Baisie Ghartey, founder of Shape Attitude Ghana, and Dr David Wellington Essaw, Chief Technical Adviser to Shape Attitude Ghana were among the speakers on the first day of the meeting. Mr Ghartey said Ghana’s population is growing rapidly with corresponding increase in generation of waste. However, our waste management has not kept pace with the population growth. The challenges with waste management are aggravated by indiscriminate littering and dumping of refuse and  open defecation which have in turn worsened the poor sanitary conditions in the country. Mr Ghartey said one of the major contributing causes of indiscriminate littering and dumping of refuse is negative attitude of the population and added that if the population changed their attitude and practiced safe disposal of waste the community will be saved from dirty environment. He charged the Heads of Health Training Institutions at the meeting that they have a big role to play in
 changing the attitude of the community. The Health Institutions have the responsibility of producing graduates with positive attitude and influence the communities where they are located. Mr Ghartey made an appeal for the enforcement of sanitary bye-laws to back up the educational or sensitisation campaign.

Dr David Essaw in his presentation stated that Ghana loses close to GHC1.2 billion annually due to poor sanitary conditions, funds which could have been deployed on development projects like more educational facilities, improved water supply, roads etc. Dr Essaw noted that indiscriminate littering and dumping of refuse were not common practices in the past and therefore entreated the population to go back to the good old days. He coined an acronym “SANFA” from Sanitation for All. SANFA in the local Akan language means “take it back” and therefore Ghana should go back to the best practices of the past.

Shape Attitude Ghana organised a play on sanitation that was written and directed by Masters Students from the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Education, Winneba, and staged by students from the Community Health Nursing College, Winneba, with support of the Principal Madam Minnie Okai.

In attendance at the opening ceremony were the Central Regional Minister, the Regional Police Commander, representative of the Minister of Health, the Chairman of the Central regional House of Chiefs, the clergy, other dignitaries and Principals of the Health Training Institutions

Dr David Essaw making his presentation at the conference.

A scene from a sketch presented by Mr. Wonderful Basie and Dr David Essaw

A scene from the play that was organised by Shape Attitude Ghana

Regional Minister delivering his presentation

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