Is it anger, disgust, violence, frustration or just normal social behavior that leads people to openly spit in public? As much as I don’t want to kiss anyone in public, I don’t want to share anyone’s saliva.
Normally we talk about indiscriminate disposal of waste ranging from plastic to polythene and so many others but we forget that as soon as saliva leaves the mouth and lands on the floor, it becomes waste because it turns to be a risk to human health. Now, indiscriminate spitting is as much a problem as all the other wastes mentioned.
The worst part of open and indiscriminate spitting in public is when the spitter doesn’t rob off the spit from the floor. They leave it for anyone passing by to see the spit even though it is not a pleasant sight for the eye.
I wonder if anyone who engages in indiscriminate spitting would perpetuate the act if they spent an hour or two in the Flagstaff house. Oh no! Wait! The place is too clean for that. This indicates how much the stinky environment we live in contributes to this problem of spitting.
Now, unless this canker is checked, selling and eating at the roadside will never be safe. Flies settle on these pieces of disgusting saliva flying around and then lands on the food we eat. The food vendor may quickly blow the fly off of your food but it may have already landed on the food. Even while you eat, the flies fight with you over the food. And who even assured you that in the cooking process, the ingredients were free of flies straight from saliva spat on the floor?
It is even not just about roadside food buying and selling but also cooking in your home would not even be safe, unless of course the individual lives on an island. Even if the fly lands on your food straight from your own saliva, it is inappropriate.
The human mouth is home to several microorganisms and so the saliva leaves the mouth with some of these organisms. If indiscriminate kissing is not healthy, then definitely nobody should share in the saliva of others through spitting.
Some people spit without even checking who is around. Maybe the act should be checked by law because I don’t see how anybody would spit in the banking hall and yet that same person would perpetuate the very act at the market scene or even the bus stop. I don’t know about traditionalists but Christians spend hours at church not just on Sundays but even some weekdays and Muslims also spend at least an hour and a half at the mosque on Fridays, now, do they excuse themselves from prayer to spit outside or they spit in the church room or they don’t spit until church service is over? Even traditionalists, when you’re before your god, do you spit in front of him or what?
Why can’t we for once endeavour to keep our environments clean just as much as we would to our revered places of worship and what not? No matter how much we blame governments for not doing their fair share in the problem-solving journey, part of the basic responsibilities rest on us to take care of. If you litter because there are no dustbins to collect wastes, how about the spitting?
Public spaces or places are used by all people and for that matter should be kept as clean as possible.
If public spaces become the source of a disease outbreak, it would be a very precarious situation to handle.
For the sake of our own health, indiscriminate and public spitting must be avoided at all costs. Open spitting can spread diseases like hepatitis B and C, flu, etc.
Our health should be one of the foremost things we handle with extreme care and attention.
Stop open and indiscriminate spitting now. It makes the environment unhygienic and unsafe for living.
A better Ghana we want, let us be responsible.
Columnist: Yussif Ahmed