They say cleanliness is next to godliness but I bet that doesn’t apply when you get to Accra. The millennium city is gradually becoming a hub of filth. Did I say gradually? Oh no, it isn’t gradually, it has always been a place of filth. As one drives from Korle Bu to Chorkor and then to Makola, there is a “sweet” smell that engulf the whole neighborhood. People defecate in the Korle Lagoon in style. Filth is the order of the day. I have come to realize that, it’s all about money for certain people in the capital. “Let’s just forget about cleanliness and focus on business” is the maxim.
Even at Korle Bu which happens to be one of the finest hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa, there is filth everywhere. Close to the College of Health Sciences Administration block, a mini forest of filth is observed. Medical students are surrounded by filth. I will find time to talk about that later. Accra is being “swallowed” by cholera.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission is primarily through consuming contaminated drinking water or food. The severity of the diarrhea and vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Primary treatment is with oral rehydration solution and if these are not tolerated, intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are beneficial in those with severe disease. Worldwide, it affects 3-5 million people and causes 100,000-130,000 deaths a year as of 2010.
Current statistical data on the cholera outbreak in the Greater Accra Region indicates that 4,190 cases had been recorded, with 36 deaths. The breakdown shows the Accra Metropolis is leading with 3,207 cholera cases and 33 deaths, while the Ga East district comes second with 473 reported cases and one death. Others include Ga South, with 119 cases and one death; Ga West, 253 cases and one death.
Adenta, Ledzorkuku Krowor and Tema, recorded 38, 62 and 28 cases respectively, with no deaths. Furthermore, the Dangbe West district had 6 cases, followed by Ashaiman with three cases, while the Dangbe East district, recorded only one case.
At the La General Hospital on Monday, cholera figures were up to 357 in the first quarter of 2011. Out of the 357 cases, January documented 49, with February recording 147, and in the month of March alone, the number increased to 161 cases. Samples taken from 19 cholera patients revealed five of them tested positive, with two deaths. The case of fatality is 0.56 per cent. The La General Hospital is currently treating cholera patients from 50 areas within the Accra metropolis, including cases from Cape Coast and Kasoa. The La community leads the chart with 153 reported cases, followed by Nungua with 46, Osu, 41, and Teshie 33 as of last week Monday. That is the situation in Accra and do you want to know the prevalence rate in Kumasi? Bet you do! Kumasi has not recorded a single case of cholera in the past 3 years. Accra is suffering from cholera because of filth. The A.M.A cannot do this alone. It behoves on all the inhabitants of the capital city to observe cleanliness. The quest for money should be directly proportional to the love for good health. Health is wealth!