Participants selected from cholera endemic areas in Accra at a three-day workshop have found abysmal personal hygiene and poor sanitation practices in communities, as the main cause of cholera outbreaks.
They were also convinced that lack of capacity to control development and the provision of services were other contributory factors which worsened the spread of cholera diseases.
The programme was sponsored by the United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development under the theme; “Cholera Control and Prevention, the Business of All.”
It brought together participants from the cholera endemic areas such as La, Madina, Agbogbloshie, Chorkor, Sukura, Russia, Dansoman, Abossey Okai, Fadama, Zongo and Bubiashie all in Accra.
The participants highlighted the need for a vigorous house-to-house visit by volunteers, Environmental Health Officers and other health officials to step up more hygiene education and to ensure that the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and defecating in drains and any available space would end.
Mr Jonas Kwadjoe Amanu, Chief Environmental Health Officer in-charge of the Greater Accra Region, said the country’s efforts to maintain environmental cleanliness would be enhanced if everyone took the responsibility to preach personal hygiene wherever they found themselves.
“If this is done, much of our problems on cholera would be over,” he said.
Mr Amanu enumerated some of the causes of cholera as unsafe excreta disposal, insufficient water supply, poor hygiene practices and unhygienic breast-feeding of babies and high population density in slum communities.
He said children are the most vulnerable group because of their social interactions at events and in schools that provided fertile grounds for easy spreading of the disease into family members, friends and the community.
The Chief Environmental Officer said it was important for the communities to support health workers to contain the spread of the disease by following the necessary basic personal hygiene education advice.