Cholera Hits Accra Again

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has urged residents in Accra to adhere to strict sanitation practices as parts of the region have reported cases of cholera. A statement signed by the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Edward Antwi said anyone who experiences frequent loose watery stools and vomiting should immediately seek treatment at the nearest clinic or hospital. Cholera is a lethal bacteria disease spread by contaminated water and food. Early detection leads to successful treatment with oral rehydration fluids but if not treated it can kill within hours. Dr. Antwi said all government health facilities in the region are equipped to handle cholera cases, stressing that treatment is free. Poor sanitation management resulting in filth and the sale of contaminated food are major causes of cholera. �Wash hands with soap and water before eating, cooking and after visiting the toilet, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water before eating, wash all plates and cooking utensils thoroughly before and after use, eat foods while hot and avoid buying/eating food which is exposed to flies and dust,� he warned. He also cautioned food vendors over the exposure of food to dust and files. �Keep the environment clean,� he said. Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health said the cholera outbreak was due to the country�s failure to deal with sanitation issues. He said promptly tackling issues relating to water, sanitation and hygiene should be a way of life. The minister indicated the casualty rate was more than 300 with 54 deaths. He said though there had been an improvement in Accra�s water situation. There was the need to intensify efforts to address the problem. Minister of Information, Fritz Baffour said unhygienic conditions in Accra such as indiscriminate defecation in gutters and along the beaches was a major problem. A cholera outbreak in Ghana last year claimed over 70 lives out of 4,586 cases recorded. Two thousand seven hundred and fifty six cases and 31 deaths were recorded in Accra.