Health News of Tuesday, 25 June 2013
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Akwasi Oppong-Ofosu says Ghana recorded a total of 9,542 cholera cases with 100 deaths in the year 2012 due to improper waste management.
He was speaking at the launch of the Environmental Sanitation Campaign using the Ghana Student Industrial Attachment Programme under the theme ‘Improved Sanitation: the role of the Students, Media and Stakeholders”.
According to the minister, several districts in eight regions including the Greater Accra, Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Western, Volta, Ashanti, Northern and the Uppers East Regions were affected due to bad sanitation.
Mr. Oppong-Ofosu says further reports then indicated that most of the affected districts have had regular re-occurring cholera outbreaks due to factors such as poor supplies of potable water, poor household and environmental sanitation and floods leading to contamination of water sources with the associated poor hygiene practices by the population.
He said cholera has become endemic in many parts of the country especially due to lack of basic sanitary practices and lack of public awareness among the populace.
The Minister said his Ministry and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are doing their outmost best to solve the sanitation problems but the poor attitude of the people towards the environment is seriously militating against all their efforts.
Mr. Oppong-Ofosu has therefore called on Ghanaians to stop defecating and dumping of household refuse into water channels.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said “if we can win this war against environmental sanitation and degradation, we need to work on the mindset of the Ghanaian citizenry”.
He said most people always dump waste in their drains whenever it’s raining, and that is making it difficult for the country to fight against poor sanitation and its related diseases in Ghana.
The President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Affail Monney said the Ghanaian media has failed when it comes to issues regarding to sanitation.
“The nasty spectacles of insanitary conditions in the country are an indictment to us as a nation and to us as media practitioners” Affail Monney asserted.
He said the media have all it takes to help change attitudes towards the environment but they often focus on issues have little value for national development.
Mr. Monney has therefore appealed to the leadership of all media houses to dedicate some of their air time and newspaper space to educate Ghanaians on sanitation as a core mandate of the media.
Meanwhile, a former Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey who chaired the occasion said in the 2008 Ghana declared sanitation and national crisis but it seems no one shows concern about the crisis. Dr. Dartey noted that the issues concerning sanitation should not be politicized but it’s a collective responsibility for all Ghanaians.
The event was powered by Youth Enhancement International with support from the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Media Relations and sponsored by Zoomlion Ghana.