The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has served notices to eight public toilet operators for selling newspapers and other printed materials as anal cleansing after defecation.
The notices were served on Tuesday following an inspection of public places of convenience by the Public Health Officers from the AMA in the Ablekuma South Sub- Metropolitan District as part of measures to improve the standards and maintain strict hygienic conditions.
The team first visited a public toilet directly opposite the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and observed a defective septic tank that poses danger to the public, the use of printed materials for anal cleansing and a food vendor at the entrance.
At The High Street Way Public Toilet located within the Korle-Bu Lorry Park, it was discovered that anal cleansing materials were disposed of behind a wall while at God is Great public toilet, the attendant was seen doing the cleaning without protective clothing and was cautioned.
At one of the public toilets in Mamprobi, attendants were also seen selling cigarettes which were not allowed. The sceptic tanks also had leakages that were not airtight hence generating bad odour which was harmful to the public.
At the Mamprobi-Adabraka Public Toilet, it was observed that printed materials were used for anal cleansing. The chambers leading to the main septic tank were all defective giving out the offensive odour.
The Adama Bisalam Public Toilet at Mamprobi Methodist which was also visited by the team had its roof leaking, with attendants selling cigarettes and printed materials for anal cleansing.
Speaking to the media after the exercise, the Head of Public Health Department, Florence Kuukyi who led the team said it was observed that almost all the operators sell newspapers and other printed materials to customers to “wipe one’s buttocks after defecation” describing the practice as harmful and a major cause of anal cancer.
She urged the general public to desist from using newspapers and other printed materials as anal cleaning material and resort to the use of toilet rolls.
“Because of the chemical used in printing these newspapers and materials, using them for anal cleaning can cause anal cancer or cancer of the anus. Furthermore, these materials are highly contaminated due to their handling hence the need to desist from using them,” she said.
She explained that anal cleansing was an important aspect of personal hygiene as it contributes to the prevention of infections and diseases adding that the team had to confiscate bundles of newspapers to prevent its usage.