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Another health alert! Outbreak of Yaws at Tsledom …25 cases confirmed

An outbreak of Yaws, locally known as “Jator” has engulfed Tsledom, a deprived community in the middle-belt of the Lower Manya Krobo municipality in the Eastern Region.  

The outbreak is fast spreading in the entire community with more than 50 percent of the population, both young and old having sores all over their bodies.

The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Disease Control Officer, Mr Solomon Ohene Gyabaa confirmed the yaws outbreak in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, and said his outfit received a complaint through the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator of Tsledom MA Basic School.

He said a sample test on 25 pupils in the school proved positive of the disease, adding that it is fast spreading among the school pupils due to their body contacts.

When asked what the cause might be, he attributed it to the unhygienic living condition in the area, particularly in the homes of the pupils.  

The blisters are becoming difficult to heal despite the hot salty water and other medicines applied on the affected areas of the body each day.

An opinion leader for the community, Dadematse Atter, attributed the alarming situation to a borehole which was the main source of drinking water in the community.

He believes that the disease might have emanated from the borehole which had not been mechanised

The opinion leader added that the unavailability of Community-based Planning and Services (CHPS) compound in the community for residents to access early treatment had also aggravated the situation, causing the sores to keep spreading on other parts on their bodies.

Mr Atter said the alarming situation had stimulated fear as visitors are feeling reluctant to visit the community to Tconduct business transactions.

He, therefore, appealed to the government and other benevolent organisations to visit the area and find a lasting solution to their plight.

The Dadematse called for the provision of a mechanised borehole. 

Yaws is one of the world’s neglected tropical infectious diseases of the bones and joints that begins with a round, hard swelling of the skin, two to five centimeters in diameter and is transmitted mainly through direct skin contact with an infected person.

The disease occurs mainly in poor communities in warm, humid, tropical areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. About 75 percent of people affected are children under 15 years of age.

Ghana recorded a total of 28,000 cases of the disease outbreak in 2008, trending a pattern from 1970, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS).

Between 2008 and 2012, the country recorded a total of 9, 356 similar cases with mass immunisation measures put in place by the government to eradicate the disease among the population.

FROM DAVID KODJO, TSLEDOM

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