Research by Disease Control Unit downplays role of filth as cause for cholera outbreak

Research by the Disease Control Unit has revealed that majority of the numerous cholera cases recorded in the Greater Accra region is attributed to the inability of people to conform to personal hygiene.

Osu Klottey Sub-Metro Disease Control Officer, Lord Kwabittey who led the team of researchers noted that people who were infected were largely as a result of their failure to wash their hands, contrary to the widely held opinion that the outbreak was as a result of the filth the city is engulfed in.

“Our findings indicate that attitudinal change. Since people are not accepting personal hygiene I will keep on preaching. They are not washing their hands very well. If they do, they are not doing it very well. We found out that 86 per cent of the respondents are not washing their hands very well,” Mr. Kwabittey admitted.

Lately, there has been several cholera cases recorded within the country with Greater Accra recording about 3,000 cases alone this July.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo, who visited the La General Hospital Tuesday, said 23 cases were recorded last night alone and between Saturday and Monday, 74 new cases were received.

As at the time of filing this report, one death was recorded at the La General hospital with cholera being the cause, bringing the death toll of cholera cases at the hospital to nine.

The recent epidemic has compelled citizens to criticize government for failing to rid the entire city of filth, a phenomenon they claimed was the cause for the outbreak.

For these reasons, the Vice-President during last week, issued an ultimatum to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and other sanitation agencies  to oversee the collection of filth in the metropolis.

Adhering to the ultimatum, the AMA reportedly cleared all the garbage that had accumulated at the dumping sites in Accra. They also assisted in the clearing of choked gutters at the Agbogbloshie market and its surrounding areas.

Even though the Assembly is clearing the filth in the city, there are still areas, including Mallam in Accra where residents are still crying for help in clearing the filth.

In spite of these issues, Deputy Regional Chairman in charge of Public Health Service, Dr.John Eleeza, is calling on city authorities to expedite action in dealing with the surge of the recent cholera outbreak that is plaguing the city.

He charged the authorities to impose sanctions on people and entities that would contravene the law and implement formidable policies that would help curb the recent cholera epidemic.

“Our duty is to treat and give public education. I cannot go and build toilet facilities, for people you know that because we have a sector that is responsible for that,” Dr. Eleeza stated.

Dr. Eleeza is also optimistic that if sanctions are imposed by city authorities on people who contravene the law along with formidable policies put in place, our environment would be improved and the situation we are currently facing would be no more.

“I hope that if they go ahead and implement all the sanitation measures then I believe that come next year, our environment would have been improved and the situation we are facing now would be thing of the past,” he added.


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