The Ghana Health Service has issued an alert over a potential outbreak of cholera in the country.
The service in a statement signed by the Director-General, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, said with the onset of the rainy season and other prevailing conditions in the country, the possibility of a cholera outbreak is high.
“Cholera is one of the diseases of national concern because of the potential it has to cause outbreaks and major epidemics. As the rains have started to set in at certain locations of the country and will be getting to the peak season very soon, with the other existing prevailing risk factors, the risk for cholera outbreak is very high,” the statement said.
The Ghana Health Service said the public must be cautious and adopt preventive measures to avoid contracting the disease.
“This correspondence is to inform the general public to be cautious and to do their best to prevent and protect themselves against cholera. Cholera is a preventable disease provided that safe water is made available and proper sanitation practices are adhered to… Signs and symptoms of Cholera are frequent diarrhoea with or without vomiting. Cholera spreads when faeces and/or vomitus of an infected person contaminates the water or food of another person and it is swallowed.”
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While emphasizing that Cholera is preventable, the Ghana Health Service said the disease can be prevented “by improved environmental sanitation, personal hygiene and drinking safe water. Frequent hand washing with soap under running water is also recommended.”
It further advised persons who show signs and symptoms of Cholera to report urgently to the nearest health facility for treatment.
In 2014, a total of 28,975 cholera cases with 243 deaths were reported from 130 out of the 216 districts in all 10 regions of Ghana, according to the GHS.
In 2015, 618 cases were recorded with five deaths.
In 2016, more than 150 cholera cases were recorded in the Central Region with no known death recorded.