The Ministry of Health has issued an alert calling on citizens to be cautious of

This alert comes as the country is trying to drastically reduce incidents of cholera which has grown to become an annual feature of Ghanaian life.

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According to the Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Tony Goodman, one case has already been reported at the Achimota Hospital in Accra. The ministry says it is issuing the alert because it is important to “conscientise the public [because] the rains are in, the next they should be looking out for is cholera.”

The disease thrives in areas that have unsanitary conditions and people with poor personal hygiene. Between June 2014 and February 2015, Accra alone recorded as many as 20,500 cases with 121 deaths. Nationally, the death toll was over 200.

The capital and other major cities such as Kumasi record higher annually numbers because of the filthy nature of streets and markets; which are exposed by the rains. Flash points in the capital include Jamestown, La and Teshie; where open defecation is rife.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cholera is “an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.” Its symptoms include watery stools accompanied by profuse vomiting.

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Cleaning dirty areas, drinking clean water, eating uncontaminated food, hand washing and reporting to hospital early are ways one can stay unaffected by the disease.

In 2015, the government instituted the programme; which tasked citizens to come out on the first Saturday of every month, to clean their communities. However, the plan has been failed incredibly; with many choosing to stay away from this communal labor exercise.

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The media have been tasked with helping to educate the public on cholera prevention methods.