By Jerry Akornor 

An international implementation committee has been established for the “Operation Clean Communities” launched last month by the New Juaben Traditional Council as part of its community development efforts within the existing award-winning root-based model.

The newly constituted  committee is made up of representatives from the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), Emory University in Atlanta, USA, the New Juaben Traditional Council and the root-based institutional members. The maiden meeting of the committee was held today under the chairmanship of Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben and former Chairman of United Nations Statistical Commission in Accra. 

According to the former Government's Statistician Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boateng, "the committee has resolved to implement the "Operation Clean Communities" in three phases including the Pre-Intervention Phase, the Intervention Phase and the Post-Intervention Phase". 

Accordingly, the Pre-Intervention Phase will provide a comprehensive assessment of various exposure pathways of contamination and disease transmission in the communities. It will also assess the behavioural patterns of the communities with respect to sanitation and disease transmission. 

Similarly, the Intervention Phase  will involve a comprehensive health and sanitation education in the communities aimed at breaking the various pathways of contamination and disease transmission in the communities to ensure healthy lifestyle. It will also encourage good and positive initiatives such as clean surroundings which add value to the communities. This will further call on the various public stakeholders in health and sanitation to fix the various fault-lines detected during the Pre-Intervention Phase. The committee took a decision to carry this phase out for a period of one year before measuring its impact.

In view of the above, the Post-Intervention Phase will involve another assessment of the various exposure pathways as well as behavioural patterns of the communities. This will permit the use of statistical instruments to measure the impact of the health and sanitation education intervention in the communities. It will thus point to the way forward for sustainable health in the communities.

Meanwhile, the committee has decided to adapt the SaniPath tool developed by Emory University in Atlanta , USA, for use in the New Juaben Operation Clean Communities campaign. The entire process is expected to be replicated and updated on an annual basis.

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