Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe) has challenged water supply agencies to step up efforts to make clean water available to all and sundry in order to help eliminate COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Coalition, this call has become necessary as Ghanaian authorities and the general public concentrate on the coronavirus pandemic and probably forget that the nation is still prone to cholera outbreaks.
In a press release issued by the Coalition, on World Water Day and copied to Todaygh.com the Convener of M-CODe, Mr Emmanuel Addai, hinted that open defecation which is the main cause of cholera is still rife and more than six million people still practise it every day in Ghana.
According to him as the world celebrate World Water Day at a time all attention is placed on the the fight against COVID-19. “But for the COVID-19 global pandemic, the world would have been discussing more about water and climate change. However, due to the exigency of the time, concentration has duly been on how to prevent the spread of the virus.” he reiterated.
“The pandemic has indeed given a boost to improved hand hygiene, notably through handwashing with soap under running water, which is good for cholera prevention.
The Coalition has taken note of the stringent measures that Ghanaian leadership is putting in place to manage the pandemic and suggests that those emergency measures should not overlook a possible cholera outbreak when the rains intensify.
“In 2014 alone, more than 29,000 cholera cases were reported in Ghana out of which nearly 250 people died. It is worthy of note, however, that the nation has been spared of more outbreaks ever since.
It is not easy to attribute the recent ‘silence’ of cholera to any major intervention or waste management breakthrough over what pertained in 2014,” he noted.
“While we declare a hygiene war against COVID-19, let us not ignore the potential of a cholera outbreak in claiming more human lives. Let us make lessons from 2014 a reference point. A Presidential directive on open defecation at this opportune time can make a major difference,” says Mr. Addai.
However, open defecation, poor drainage, flooding and waste management challenges are still prevalent and are critical pointers to a possible outbreak and as we gradually enter the season, the time to take a concrete action is now.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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