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No economic reason justifies use of second-hand undergarments – GSA

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Mr Charles Amoako, Director, Inspectorate Division of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), on Saturday, said no economic reason could justify the use of second-hand undergarments.

He said if thought through carefully, arguments about cost and durability advantages of used under garments, as against new ones, should crumble, considering the health risks users of used undergarments were exposed to.

Mr Amoako was speaking at a public education programme in Ho to sensitize second hand cloth dealers and the general public on the ban on the importation of second hand under garments.

The programme is collaboration between the GSA and the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MOTI).

Mr Amoaku took the sparse audience through the background on the legislation banning the commodity, dangers associated with their use, engagement of stakeholders on the issue and planned sanctions against recalcitrant dealers.

He said the use of the banned items, which the 1994 legislation listed as including, handkerchiefs, underpants, mattresses and sanitary wears, could result in user contracting varied infections.

According to him, after the widespread sensitization programme, including the regional awareness creation tours, the law would be enforced in the form of swoops, confiscations and destruction of the undergarments and prosecution.

Mr Amoako said the ban affected only undergarments, which use, apart from the health hazards, undermined the dignity of the user.

Mr Ntim Donkor, Director of Trade Facilitation at the MOTI, said a site had been acquired at the ports for the examination of second clothing and that undergarments found would be destroyed at the cost of the importer.

He said Ghanaians have been sensitised on the law for some time and that people who would try to circumvent the law would be traced and punished.

Mr Donkor stressed on the need for end users to be educated on the dangers of using these undergarments to cut into the cycle of trade and thereby end the business in these items.

During an open forum, a suggestion was made for the GSA to print flyers for distribution to help to improve on its education drive on the issue.

Source: GNA

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