Bring Cholera Under Control!

The Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development have hinted of plans to ban food vending in Accra, as a measure to control the cholera epidemic which has hit the country.

According to media reports, it is to ensure that food vendors conform to the regulations on the sale of food to the public.

The measure has become necessary because the health authorities have observed that most of the cholera patients contract the disease from food they eat outside. Dr. Appiah Denkyira, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, told The Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra, on Tuesday.

He warned that those who flouted the ban would be dealt with.

It is an undeniable fact that cholera cases, particularly in the Greater Accra Region, continue to rise and are expected to continue doing so, due to the appalling sanitary conditions in the city.

At the last count, 92 deaths had been recorded from the 10,265 cases reported nationwide since the outbreak in early June, this year.

What this means is that on the average, 111 cases are recorded daily, with one person dying.

It is alarming that despite the efforts of the Presidency, led by both President John Mahama and his Vice, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the cases continue to increase, with no end seemingly in sight.

Reports indicate that the situation might persist a bit longer, and that is why we are unamused with the announcement of the ban of food vending, as a means of curtailing the disease.

It is troubling that although it is known that food vending is a major source and cause of the disease, we have refused to act all this while, culminating in the deaths of many people.

The Times cannot understand why we have refused to confront the disease holistically.  The piecemeal action of a ban of food vending, would not solve the problem, as it might even be difficult to enforce.

We are extremely amazed that at this time and age, cholera which is common in communities with poor hygiene and sanitation, could be allowed to wreak havoc in the country.

We urge all stakeholders to come together to tackle the scourge in a co-ordinated manner, to save us from further deaths.

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