Posted: Thursday 28th August 2014 at 10:00 am

Cholera Hits 7,800

Alfred Oko Vandepuije (5th right) together with ministers of state and traditional leaders unveiling the project

Reported Cholera cases within the Greater Accra Region have hit a whopping 7,800 cases, up from 6,179 within a week.

The Director of Ghana Health Services (GHS), Greater Accra Region, Dr Linda Van-Otoo, disclosed this yesterday in Accra at the launch of a nationwide free waste bin distribution project by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Health, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Nawabin, a waste management company.

The first phase of the project would witness the distribution of one million bins within the Greater Accra Region and would be extended to other parts of the country.

According to her, the cases continue to increase exponentially with more than 51 deaths recorded so far.

She stated that most of the cases were emanating from Accra and the submetros.

‘Our hospitals are choked with patients and in some instances some patients are being thrown out, Dr Van-Otoo indicated.

‘Some of them die before reaching the hospitals due to delay at home,’ she added, without stating categorically to what extent that the death toll which stood at 51 as of last Friday had increased.

The Health Director charged the Ghana Water and Sewage Company (GWSC) to thoroughly inspect the water being supplied to homes across the country.

Statistics 
Giving an overview of the cholera situation in the region over the last eight years on Friday in Accra, Dr Van-Otoo stated that in 2007, only seven cases were recorded with no death.

By 2008, the recorded cases had shot up to 823 with no death reported.

In 2009 however, there were 431 cases with 12 deaths; 2010 had seven cases with no death.

The current epidemic is similar to the one that struck the country in 2011 were over 9,000 cases were recorded with 72 deaths.

In 2012, cholera cases grossed close to 7,000 cases with 48 deaths; 2013 recorded 22 cases with no death.

Dr Van-Otoo disclosed that 50 percent of the cases were coming from the submetros, adding that ‘most people who are dying are the active ones who are in the working age group.’

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vandepuye, attributed the cholera outbreak and the poor sanitation problem that continues to disturb the country to failure on the parts of Ghanaians to have a change of attitude towards their environment.

According to him, government would continue to combat cholera and other diseases if the aspect of attitudinal change on the part of Ghanaians is not addressed.

Successive governments have launched similar projects in the past but they have not been successful due to the attitude of Ghanaians, he said.

For him, it is not about government continually launching sanitation projects but about focusing more on changing the mindsets of Ghanaians.

He, however, tasked the chiefs within the region to take up the task of ensuring clean sanitations within their jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, the President of the Greater Accra Market Women’s Association (GAMWA), Mercy Needjan, announced that all markets under the AMA within Accra would be closed today from 6:00am to 12 noon for a massive clean-up exercise.

BY Melvin Tarlue & Christiana Mpra Agyei

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