Cholera outbreak is due to unsanitary conditions – Minister

Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing, on Wednesday said cholera outbreak in Ghana was as a result of the country’s failure to deal with sanitation issues.

He said tackling issues relating to water, sanitation and hygiene should be a way of life and expressed worry that recently the country has lost 54 lives.

Mr Bagbin was reacting to a statement delivered on the floor of Parliament by Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, on cholera outbreak in some parts of the country, particularly Accra, on Wednesday.

The Minister indicated that the casualty rate was more than 300 with 54 deaths and said there was improvement in the water situation in Accra but added that there was the need to intensify efforts to address the problem.

He gave the assurance that Government would ensure that the 20,000 boreholes project was executed to improve the water situation in the country and appealed to Ghanaians to keep their environment clean.

The NDC MP for Ablekuma South, Mr Fritz Baffour, said hygienic condition in Accra was poor as people indiscriminately defecate in gutters and along the beaches.

Ms Cecilia Dapaah, New Patriotic Party MP for Bantama, said the cholera outbreak created fear and panic among Ghanaians and called on the people to keep their environment clean and eat in hot state.

Alhaji Muntaka said cholera was bacterial intestinal disease characterised by sudden onset of profuse diarrhoea with occasional vomiting, rapid dehydration and circulatory collapse.

He said the disease, which was transmitted by water contaminated with faeces, vomited liquid or substance and contaminated food, spread throughout the world since 1961.

Alhaji Muntaka said that the disease was first reported in Ghana in 1970 with a major epidemic occurring at short remission periods.

He said the high rainfall recorded in last year, which led to the opening of the spill ways of Bagri Dam in Burkina Faso and the Akosombo Dam culminated into floods in low-lying areas in Ghana.

Alhaji Muntaka said this together with poor sanitation, lack of potable water and unhygienic condition provided favourable conditions for transmission of cholera.

He said information from the Ghana Health Service indicated that as at March 10, 2011 a total of 3,286 cases had been recorded out of which 54 people died giving a fatality rate of 1.6 per cent.

Alhaji Muntaka indicated that 10 districts in the Greater Accra Region were affected by the disease and eight districts in Eastern Region affected seven districts in Central Region while one district in the Upper West was affected.

He called on the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease.

Source: GNA

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