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General News of Thursday, 20 August 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Fact-check: Ghana has NOT recorded a cholera outbreak in over three years

Claim:

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said Ghana has not recorded a cholera outbreak in over three years

Verdict: TRUE

Full Text:

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has claimed Ghana has not witnessed or recorded a cholera outbreak in over the past three years.

According to him, this is as a result of the massive infrastructure projects under the Akufo-Addo administration to supply adequate water and sanitation to deprived communities.

“Under the toilets for all programme at least 109,000 households have been constructed benefiting 856,000 people and this is quite remarkable. The population with toilet has increased from 14% in 2017 to 21% by 2019.

Because of this 5,498 communities have been declared open defecation free. The Minister for Sanitation drew my attention that due to the investment we have not had cholera in the last 3 and half years,” Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President made this known at the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at the Academy of Arts in Accra.

Explanation:

Cholera is an acute diarrhoea infection of the intestine caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium ‘Vibrio cholerae O1’.

The disease though can be cured, can be prevented through the provision of safe drinking water, good sanitation and enhanced personal hygiene.

Cholera, however, remains a threat to lives in many parts of the world, particularly in poor, low and middle-income countries.

Open defecation on the hand has also been one of the major sanitation challenges that has been a source of concern to many.

For Ghana, the onset of the rainy season and other prevailing conditions in certain locations in the country still presents a risk for cholera outbreaks.

Meanwhile, the ‘Toilet for All’ programme which was launched under the Akufo-Addo administration, according to the Vice President has contributed to the construction of 109,000 household toilets benefitting some 856,000 people across the country.

Under the programme are six projects, which include the Greater Accra Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Project, the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project, the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihood Improvement Project among others.

Verification:

Vice President Dr Bawumia touting the achievement of no cholera outbreaks in Ghana over the last three years attributed the feat to the ‘Toilet for All’ programme launched by the government.

Checks by GhanaWeb revealed in 2014, a total of 28,975 cholera cases with 243 deaths were reported by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) from 130 out of the 216 districts in all 10 regions of Ghana.

The following year in 2015, the GHS recorded 618 cases with five deaths and in 2016, more than 150 cholera cases were recorded in the Central Region with no known death recorded.

Data available on the Ghana Health Service website;Click here, however, indicates that the last known case of cholera in Ghana was recorded in 2016.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) on their part in 2018 issued an alert on a possible cholera outbreak in the country.

The statement which was signed by the Director-General of GHS at the time, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare said; “Cholera is one of the diseases of national concern because of the potential it has to cause outbreaks and major epidemics. As the rains have started to set in at certain locations of the country and will be getting to the peak season very soon, with the other existing prevailing risk factors, the risk for cholera outbreak is very high”

Director of Health Promotions at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Aboagye Dacosta also confirmed the claim as accurate as presented by the Vice President, Dr Bawumia.

“It is actually accurate that Ghana has not recorded a case of cholera outbreak in over the past three years. The last known case that we [GHS] have on record is that from 2016”

GhanaWeb, therefore, finds the claim by the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to be TRUE as indicated by him during his presentation and rehashed by the Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah during a Q&A session at the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

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