Cholera infections in the Greater Accra Region have reduced significantly from 25 cases recorded last two weeks, to 18 cases with no deaths as at the end of last week.
Fourteen out of the total cases reported were in the Accra metropolis, with the remaining four recorded at La Nkwantanang municipality, La Dadekotopon and the Ga South municipality.
As at last Sunday, 636 cases with five deaths were recorded from 31 districts in all 10 regions since the beginning of the year at a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 0.8 per cent.
Dr. Emmanuel Dzotsi, a Public Health specialist at the Disease Surveillance Department of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), told The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, that although the cholera outbreak which hit the nation in June last year, had not been declared over yet, the disease significantly declined to zero prior to the floods on June 3.
Meanwhile, the Mallam market which serves residents of the Ga South municipality and its environs with foodstuff has been engulfed in huge refuse, which can easily trigger the outbreak of cholera in the municipality.
Right behind the Market is an uncovered landfill site which produces a strong stench around the area.
When The Ghanaian Times visited the place at the weekend, it observed that the site had not been disinfected and fumigated over a period of time, making it possible for flies to move easily to contaminate foodstuff being sold at the market.
The market women, however, appealed to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to as a matter of urgency, come to, their aid to rid the market of filth to avoid cholera and other disease infections.
Dr. Dzotsi said the cholera outbreak could continue and spread at a high rate, considering the existence of cholera risk factors, which included, floods, inadequate supply of safe water, street vending of water and food, poor liquid and solid waste disposal, and choked drains, urban slums and poor food and personal hygiene.
He advised that laboratory tests be conducted on all suspected cholera cases.
Dr. Dzotsi urged health facilities in the country to ensure that rapid response teams (RRT) made up of health and environmental officers, followed to the homes and communities of all persons confirmed to have contracted cholera and obtained their contacts to implement Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions.
“There is the urgent need to rehabilitate broken down cholera treatment centres in the Greater Accra Region to ensure proper and effective management of cases,” he said.
He tasked the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ghana Water Company Limited to ensure the supply of safe chlorinated water to the people.
He advised the public to drink safe and treated pipe-borne water, avoid drinking street- vended sachet water, eating street-vended foods, prepare and eat food under hygienic conditions, avoid defecating indiscriminately, wash hands with soap under running water after visiting toilet and before meals.
Dr. Dzotsi urged the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to ensure that vendors prepared, preserved and sold food and water under hygienic conditions, and enforced by-laws on sanitation.
By Linda Aryeetey