The Ghana Health Service has warned of a possible cholera outbreak, given the current sanitation conditions in the capital coupled with the onset of the rains.
The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service said waste disposal in the capital has become a major challenge following the shutdown of the Accra Compost Plant. The Directorate’s Head of Health Promotion, Honesty Attah Mensah, said residents should play their part to protect themselves against contracting the disease.
Cholera is caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae which causes acute diarrhoea. This can lead to rapidly progressive dehydration and even death. Drinking contaminated water or eating food contaminated by infected human faeces is the most common method of being infected by the disease.
The main symptoms are profuse painless watery diarrhoea without fever and (often) accompanied by vomiting clear fluid. These symptoms usually start suddenly, one to five days after ingestion of the bacteria.
In January 2013, the Ghana Health Service declared a cholera outbreak in the Ashanti Region. Around 18 people died and 310 cases were registered in the region, with a majority of cases being women and children.