Cholera epidemic: Death toll now 61, with 4,000 cases

The Ghana Health Service says over 4,000 cholera cases with 61 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak of the epidemic in the latter part of 2010.

Officials of the Disease Surveillance Unit at the Ghana Health Service say the situation is worrying and needs urgent attention.

Cholera cases reported at various health facilities across the country particularly in the Accra Metropolis keeps increasing by the day.

The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Joseph Amankwa says poor sanitary conditions coupled with the non-adherence to personal hygiene practices are contributory factors to the outbreak.

“Some of the shell fish, and sea foods are some of the causes of cholera. If you pick sea food that is contaminated and not properly prepared you will get cholera.

“People are disposing waste anyhow on main roads, highways and close to rivers. The waste is supposed to be dumped at landfill sites but where are the landfill sites in Accra and other districts?

“We don’t have them and until we address that, it is going to be a major problem for us and every year we are going to have cholera,” he cautioned.

The Ghana Health Service has set up receptive centers at various clinics in the Accra metropolis to deal with the increasing cases.

The Greater Accra Regional Health Director, Professor Irene Agyemang, speaking to Citi News attributed the outbreak to the poor sanitary conditions in the metropolis.

Health officials in the Tema Metropolis are also worried that the number of people being diagnosed of the disease is on the rise.

The Tema Metropolitan health directorate reports that about 10 people have been diagnosed of the disease.

The Public Health Director at the TMA, Edward Sharde is worried the situation could worsen if residents do not observe basic hygiene practices.

They have thus raised alert, warning people to report to the nearest health centers immediately they suffer from diarrhoea even without vomiting.

Mr. Sharde told Citi News residents, especially traders, could be arrested if they sell under unhygienic conditions.

“We are carrying out vigorous health inspection in all premises both residential and non-residential. We are educating people at the markets; chop bars street side sellers, food sellers, and fast food joints on how to prevent cholera by keeping their surroundings clean, protecting the water they drink and keep personal hygiene at the uttermost level because cholera is spread through contamination. From flies, to the food and to the cup we use to drink.”.

“We are educating these iced water sellers on the way the handle the sachet water so that we can bring the level of infection down” he said.

So far, over 3,000 cholera cases have been reported across the country with over fifty deaths.

Source: citifm

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