As of September 21, 2014, the Ghanaian Ministry of Health has reported 16,613 cumulative cases of cholera and 130 deaths from 9 of the 10 regions of Ghana.
The U.S. Government is committed to strengthening the Ghanaian healthcare system to prevent and contain future outbreaks and treat those who become ill. In line with the Ministry of Health's desire to integrate cholera prevention and treatment into overall health programming, the U.S. Government is working more broadly on the prevention and treatment of all causes of diarrheal diseases. To reduce vulnerability to cholera and other diarrheal diseases, the U.S. Government through the Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting Government of Ghana efforts to improve access to treated drinking water at the community and household levels in urban and rural communities.
USAID donated 768,000 tablets of Aquatabs to the Ghana Health Service, which are being distributed through health facilities including Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) in the "hot spots" of the cholera epidemic in the eight regions. These tablets will purify over 15 million litres of water.
This support demonstrates the U.S. Government's continuous collaboration and support of the Government of Ghana and their objectives in the area of health, nutrition, water, and sanitation. Additional support includes:
• Supporting cholera prevention and treatment efforts through social marketing and distribution of drinking water purification products, oral rehydration salts, and soap for washing hands and household items.
• Working side-by-side with the Ministry of Health, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and other partners to establish a national system for tracking cases of cholera, responding to cholera outbreaks, and routinely testing suspected cases of cholera at the National Public Health Laboratory.
• Supporting treatment for cholera and other diarrheal diseases at public and non-governmental organization health facilities nationwide at the height of the epidemic.
• Providing technical assistance and support to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and MMDAs to improve its capacity to provide clean water, sanitation, and improved hygiene.
• Providing training for over 240 community health workers and volunteers who are deployed in 8 regions, where they promote community water system operations, disinfection and distribution of Aquatabs.
• Developing cholera education materials to train more than 240 community health workers and volunteers to conduct outreach activities on cholera prevention and treatment.
• Improving access to clean water in communities by providing support to drill new wells, rehabilitate broken wells, and promote safe household water practices and the campaign on "Open Defecation Free" (ODF) through facilitation for the construction of sanitation facilities.