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Ghana records over 9,500 cholera cases in 2012 – Health Minister

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waste-2Ghana recorded a total of 9,566 cases of cholera with 100 deaths during 2012.

The cases occurred in 53 districts in nine regions but no districts in the Upper West Region recorded any of the cases last year.

Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, Deputy Minister of Health, said although no cholera case has been confirmed this year, the possibility of outbreak is high as the risk factors exist.

Last year, the country confirmed cholera outbreak in the early part of the year and battled the disease.

Cholera, in its severe form, can be seen when one has diarrhoea and at times accompanied with vomiting.

The cholera germ can hide in the human body without any symptoms for a period of two hours and five days during which the person could spread it to other people.

The germ could also stay in faeces of persons for seven to 14 days during which it could be easily carried by flies, cockroaches, mice and other agents to other people.

The Ministry of Health, on Thursday, launched a special community-based campaign on cholera at Nima in Accra to educate people living in high risk areas including Maamobi and Agbogbloshie on how to prevent the disease.

Dr Tia described cholera as the most feared and deadly epidemic worldwide.

He said the disease is still extremely challenging in the developing world where basic environmental health is not ensured, and availability of good drinking water for every person is a problem.

He said cholera had become a common epidemic in Ghana due to failure of the citizenry to manage water and sanitation systems properly.

Dr Tia requested the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to take steps to supply safe water to communities, especially those at high risk areas.

He advised people to reduce the practice of hand-shaking and do so when it is really necessary and clean their environment regularly.

They should also ensure that they cover their toilets to prevent spreading of the cholera germ.

Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, Director General of Ghana Health Service, said within the Nima Community and its surroundings, a total of 598 cholera cases was recorded three years ago while 202 was recorded last year.

He said people should observe good hygienic practices and warm every food they eat and wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

Source: GNA

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