In the wake of the recent cholera outbreak in the Accra metropolis, traders at the Mallam Market have warned of another looming outbreak of the disease unless an unauthorized dump site close to the market is cleared.
The traders say the offensive odour which they and their customers inhale every day makes them susceptible to serious respiratory infections and airborne bacterial infections.
Furthermore, foodstuffs and other goods like toiletries have been spread on tables and even on the bare floor, exposing them to germs and bacteria as big houseflies hover around.
“This place smells. We always have to pick the rubbers with our hands. We are helpless”, said one trader about the unbearable stench.
Perhaps the worse of the unsanitary situation is the appalling spectacle of the big refuse dump.
Traders here are worried about the health implications because the rubbish is very close where they sell and spend most of their day.
In the midst of all these, three Luo Jia waste vehicles could be seen offloading waste at the dumpsite. Traders say it is these practices that make the situation hopeless.
Until the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) steps in to rectify the situation, traders at the Mallam Market will continue to live, sell, eat and even sleep in filth.
Cholera, an acute diarrhoeal illness caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, is the common sickness associated with unsanitary conditions.
The disease has killed 36 people so far in Accra after renewed outbreak three months ago.
Ingestion of water and food contaminated by infected human feces is the common means of acquiring the disease.
The main symptoms are profuse painless watery diarrhea without fever and (often) with vomiting of clear fluid.
These symptoms usually start suddenly, one to five days after ingestion of the bacteria.
The diarrhoea is frequently described as “rice water” in nature and may have a fishy odour or somewhat sweet inoffensive odor.
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