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16.11.2005 General News

Cholera deaths on the increase and likely to spread - GHS

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Accra, Nov. 16, GNA - A total of 53 cholera deaths have so far been recorded with Ashanti Region leading with 23 deaths, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said on Wednesday.

GHS warned that the disease was likely to spread to other places before it subsided later during the dry season.

It said in a press release that a total of 2,450 cholera cases had been reported with the Ashanti Region recording 1,429 cases. Greater Accra Region recorded 800 cases with 11 deaths, Eastern Region recorded 120 cases with no death; Central Region had 12 cases with one death; Western recorded 27 cases with no death; Northern recorded 29 cases with nine deaths and Upper East recording six cases with no death.

The release signed Dr George Amofa, Director of the Public Health, GHS, noted that it was "unacceptable in this day and age to have the current state of deteriorating environment, which is a recipe not only for cholera epidemics but other water and sanitation related diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, hepatitis A, polio, worm infestation, filariasis and malaria".

It said health officials were working tirelessly to contain the epidemic both in the various communities and health facilities. The release noted that a major wave of the epidemic had spread across the West Africa Sub-Region involving countries like Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Liberia, Mauritania, Guinea and Guinea Bissau with more than 42,000 cases and more than 700 deaths.

GHS called on local governments, municipal and district assemblies, communities and all other stakeholders in sanitary management to invest in sanitation, including proper waste disposal to break the cycle of repeated sanitation related epidemics.

It also advised the general public to always wash their hands with soap before eating, cooking or after visiting the toilet. The release advised Ghanaians to always eat cooked food while still hot, avoid eating from unsanitary places especially from food vendors selling food exposed to flies and dust and also to keep their surroundings clean. 16 Nov. 05

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