The Ghana Health Service has warned of a possible cholera outbreak in Accra due to the current insanitary conditions in the capital coupled with the onset of the rains.
The Greater Accra regional health directorate of the service said waste disposal in the capital has become a major challenge following the shutdown of the Accra Compost Plant.
Head of Health Promotion Unit of the Greater Accra regional health directorate of the Ghana Health Service, Honesty Attah Mensah, told Joy News, Ghanaians have the ultimate responsibility to protect themselves against contracting cholera.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal illness caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae that can result in a profound and rapidly progressive dehydration and death.
Ingestion of water and food contaminated by infected human faeces 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.
An untreated person with cholera may produce 10-20 liters of diarrhea a day with fatal results.
If the severe diarrhea and vomiting are not aggressively treated it can, within hours, result in life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
In January 2013, the Ghana Health Service declared a cholera outbreak in the Ashanti Region.
18 people died and 310 cases were registered in the region. Majority of infected persons were women and children.