Friday, 6 April 2012

13 dead; 600 hospitalised in Accra cholera outbreak

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Is Ghana all fur coat and no knickers?? With numerous hot nightclubs about to open, fabulous spas offering high-end treatments -not yet available in the UK, several new fashion boutiques planed for later this year, and some important/big fashion shows about to take place in the Accra Metropolis etc etc -why is it that many of its citizens don’t know how to wash their hands -and many still, don’t have access to toilets in their homes…. What’s going on -Ghana???

I’m really upset and angry -people.. I’m really angry and embarrassed by this latest cholera out break -and suggests we do something about it -this time… Surely,-we can’t just sit and passively watch as Ghana regresses backwards into stinky, filthy medieval jagger-jagger-ness.  Remember.... the world is watching and routing for us in our quest to develop…and this is embarrassing -paaaaaa.

This is a national disgrace; its internationally -embarrassing and does nothing for our tourist industry… We need to make some noise… because its not good for our health or Ghana‘s progress… The government needs to act now…

The thing is…we [Ghanaians] are clean people -mostly, but there’s a small minority who haven’t been educated about such matters.. I remember an incident way back -when a friend of a friend came to stay with my son and I -and it wasn’t easy but; -I had to remind her to wash her hands after going to the bathroom -and she turned to me and said, "but I only went pee-pee" -OMGoodiness!!!. I had to explain to this sister -it didn’t matter whether it was a number 1 or 2 -you always wash your hands!!!!

I also [after she enquired] -had to explain why -I changed into what my son and I call -house-wear -every time I entered the house.. I had to make clear that when you’re outside, -you pick up allsorts including; germs/debris/dirt etc -so when you get home -its best to take it off and put on stuff you only wear indoors etc…

I also think back to when my father, a dialysis technician, finally retired and was moving back home for good… I remember clearly his reservations about -the lack of good personal hygiene practises by some back home…

He moved back home but resolved to eat from only two people, his partner and my auntie -because people just don’t wash their hands in Ghana!!!!

The government needs to start educating people -again… The ordinary Ghanaian needs to understand the importance of ‘better personal hygiene’ -right now..

When will they [government] start running those short films they used to run -you know, the ones where -market women are told not to change their babies nappy at their stalls, and warned about the importance of washing their hands after said act,before they serve the next costumer etc etc etc etc etc….

According to the world bank our [Ghana’s] GDP stands at $31.31 Billion US dollars at current prices (2010Source: World Bank) -which means a GDP - per capita (PPP) of $2,500 (2010 est.) -that is $2’500 per person -people….-Could we not use some of this money to sanction/roll out public toilets, -you know, ….a place where people can do their business, change their babies nappies, wash their hands -and wash themselves -if need be????

The thing is … we all know that -elsewhere in the world, cholera’s a medieval disease -destroyed way back in the dark ages ..but not Ghana, what on earth is going on??? The following is taken from Ghana web .com -and makes for very sober reading….

Title: 13 dead; 600 hospitalised in Accra cholera outbreak

Dated: Thursday, 5 April 2012

At least thirteen people have been confirmed dead in the latest cholera outbreak that has hit the capital, Accra.

600 more are bed ridden in various hospitals across the capital since the first case was reported last month.

This was confirmed by Dr Edward Antwi Deputy Greater Accra region Health Director in an interview with Joy News.

According to him, Adabraka, Odawnaa, Nima, Maamobi, Newtown, Madina-Abokobi are some of the worst hit areas.

Dr. Antwi blamed the outbreak on poor personal hygiene, saying, “You get the cholera disease when food or water that has been contaminated with faecal matter; that is the faeces containing the germ is eaten.

He said food and water sources must be protected and “we have to ensure that we eat from safe places.”

He said the Directorate is liaising with the AMA to disinfect areas identified as worst hit.

Meanwhile, the AMA has begun prosecuting land lords who do not have places of convenience in their homes.

The move is part of efforts to ensure cleanliness in the region.

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