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General News of Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

One dead in Obuasi Cholera outbreak

Medical and environmental officials in the Obuasi Municipality are battling to control a cholera outbreak that has claimed one life and left more than 50 people hospitalised.

The disease broke out last Monday with patients reporting with symptoms at medical establishments in the municipality.

Doctors at five local hospitals Anglo Gold Ashanti, SDA, Obuasi Municipal, St. Jude and the Bryant Mission hospitals - where the patients are receiving treatment, have been working hard to prevent more deaths.

Symptoms patients carried to the hospitals included severe diarrhea and vomiting, some accompanied by severe dehydration.

The Obuasi Municipal Disease Control Officer, Mr Philip Aboagye, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that a team of health officials from Kumasi had been at Obuasi to assess the situation to find the way forward.

"We have just completed a meeting with the Kumasi team and visited patients in hospitals trying to assess the situation and see what to do next," he said.

Obuasi, a major mining community, is currently suffering from sanitation inadequacies resulting from the breakdown of some of the municipal assembly's skip loaders.

The municipal environmental officer, Mr Sampson Owusu-Ansah, confirmed the sanitation challenge, saying that there had been spillovers at some refuse collection points since the weekend because two of the assembly's four skip loaders were not functioning.

He told the Daily Graphic that the assembly contacted Zoomlion Company which had come in to support with one skip loader but that was not enough.

He, however, gave an assurance that everything was being done to normalise the situation.

Cholera is a disease that preys on mostly the disadvantaged who normally live in areas where sanitation is a major challenge.

Most people contract cholera through drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the bacteria

When contacted on phone, the Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr John Alexander Ackon, who was in Accra, said he had been briefed about the development and was preparing to return home immediately to assess the situation.