Make handwashing a regular practice

A user testing the Shortbody Super Handwasing Machine at the launch in Tarkwa

The producers of the Shortbody Super Handwashing Machine, in Tarkwa, have challenged the Ghanaian public to make handwashing part of their daily living practices even in the aftermath of the deadly coronavirus disease, to enhance personal hygiene and healthy living.

They noted that by strictly observing and adopting this personal protective etiquette henceforth, it will not only contribute to winning the fight against COVID-19 but also, to a large extent, reduce the likelihood of outbreaks of any future disease resulting from poor hygiene.

The spokesperson of Shortbody Engineering and Mining Services, Kingsley Edmond Baidoo – speaking in an interview after launch of the touchless and self-powered handwashing machine, said the invention, which is for use by schools, hospitals and public toilet facilities, will significantly improve public health.

However, he reckoned it will be only when there is deliberate, public commitment to make some of these mechanisms available and accessible that it can help make handwashing a critical aspect of living realisable.

Mr. Baidoo, who is also a member of the advisory board of Shortbody Engineering and Mining Services in Tarkwa, said the company found it expedient to put their expertise to use in producing something that can help scale up Ghana’s effort to stop and contain the spread of COVID-19. He further indicated that plans are far advanced to also outdoor another mechanism that will make it convenient to flush away fecal matter in homes and public places without touching any button, all to enforce good hygiene.

Meanwhile, he said, other disabled-friendly features of the Shortbody Super Handwashing Machine are being worked on and will be made public.

As part of the company’s corporate responsibility to the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, the company said some of the products will be donated to selected institutions in the municipality – including hospitals and the Police Service among others.

Municipal Chief Executive of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, Gilbert Kennedy Asmah, commended the timely production of the Shortbody Super Handwashing Machine to support efforts of government to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

While urging the public to take the measures announced by government seriously, he also appealed for them to shun stigmatising people who are infected by the virus, as it is a drawback in efforts to trace and find people with the disease.

He lamented the increasing disregard of these protocols, leading to the rise of cases in the Municipality.

Against this backdrop, he reiterated the call by President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the public to adhere strictly to the preventive protocols put in place by government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

In view of the rising number of cases in the Municipality, he also called on hotel operators in the municipality to offer temporary accommodation to house and treat those who test positive for the virus.

A representative of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Joel Abakulya, also acknowledged that handwashing is relevant in the prevention of diseases. In this regard, he stated that the features of the Shortbody Super Handwashing Machine make it efficient to use, and it is a commendable novelty. The machine is operated by foot and provides users water and soap to thoroughly wash hands, and also dispenses both paper tissue and hand sanitiser.

“The reason we are so particular about this is that this innovation is so profound. This is something so you do not need your hand to touch the tap that someone has touched already, because of fear of cross-infection,” he said.

“We all know crisis breeds innovation, and a typical example is the Shortbody Super Handwashing Machine which has come to be added to the history of Ghana.”

Mr. Abakulya also entreated the public to adhere to all the precautionary measures – including wearing face masks, regularly washing hands under running water with soap; and if possible, staying at home if one has nothing serious to do outside.

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