The Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA) is urging the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to immediately roll out preparedness and response plans countrywide, in anticipation of a possible cholera outbreak.
The Association fears the country could experience a massive outbreak of the disease after the recent heavy rains coupled with poor sanitation.
GPHA in a statement issued Monday, July 18, 2017, and signed by Dr. Ishmael Norman, Chairman of Environment, Water and Sanitation Committee also called on “various public entities including but not limited to the Ministries of Water and Sanitation, Zongo Affairs, Environment and Technology, Information, and agencies such as the EPA, the National News Agency, together with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies as a matter of urgency, to accelerate plans to address the worsening sanitation situation in the country to avert a major cholera outbreak.”
Cholera patient dies at the La General Hospital in 2014, right in front of Super Morning Show crew.
In 2014, Ghana recorded the worst cholera outbreak in 30 years. Over 17,000 cases were reported and at least, 150 died. The last time Ghana suffered such a staggering number of cholera cases was in 1982.
Three years on, signs of a cholera outbreak are back on the wall after heavy rains have exposed the filthy state of the capital, Accra. Foul smell emanating from dirty gutters and piles of garbage on various streets can be seen in the open.
Densely populated regions – Greater Accra and Ashanti – have for the past years recorded main outbreaks of the cholera disease with spillover cases reported in bordering coastal regions, according to the 2013 EU Cholera Epidemiology and Response Factsheet.
But the Ghana Health Service is not oblivious of te situation. In April this year, warned of a possible cholera outbreak in Accra due to the current insanitary conditions in the capital coupled with the onset of the rains.
The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the service said waste disposal in the capital had become a major challenge following the shut-down of the Accra Compost Plant.
Head of Health Promotion Unit of the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate, Honesty Attah Mensah, told Joy News, Ghanaians have the ultimate responsibility to protect themselves against contracting cholera.