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Ghana Officials Blame Poor Sanitation, Healthcare Facilities for ‘Staggering’ Cholera Outbreak

by Kathy Jones on  August 16, 2014 at 11:40 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Health officials in Ghana reveal that the recent cholera outbreak in the country's capital has reached 'staggering' levels, aided by poor sanitation and overcrowded health facilities.
 Ghana Officials Blame Poor Sanitation, Healthcare Facilities for ‘Staggering’ Cholera Outbreak
Ghana Officials Blame Poor Sanitation, Healthcare Facilities for ‘Staggering’ Cholera Outbreak
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Cholera has killed more than 40 people in Accra since June and infected 3,100 others, according to the Ghana Health Service.

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While the sprawling city has been hit by cholera before, the director of health services for the greater Accra region, Linda Van Otoo, said the current outbreak was "staggering".

"It is a total outbreak and the cases in Accra keep increasing daily," Otoo said. "We are in a pandemic situation and doing our best to deal with it."

Cholera causes diarrhoea, dehydration and death if left untreated. It is transmitted by ingesting food or drink contaminated with human waste.

Otoo puts the blame for the outbreak on poor sanitation in Accra's more impoverished districts.

While President John Dramani Mahama's administration has built new roads and facilities around the capital, residents in neighbourhoods hardest-hit by cholera often defecate on nearby beaches and buy from merchants selling food next to overflowing gutters.

"(People) should wash their hands with tap water and soap and if possible avoid handshakes at public gatherings," Otoo said.

"People continue to buy food near choked drains and public toilets and that is dangerous."

Source: AFP
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