General News of 2014-08-30

Cholera: Mahama orders "free" public toilet use for kids

President John Mahama has directed operators of public toilets in the national capital to allow children use the facility free of charge.

He gave the directive Saturday when he toured parts of the Greater Accra Region to urge residents to clean their environment, as part of measures toward curbing the spread of cholera.

The diarrhoeal disease has affected more than 7,000 people so far in the Region alone. Close to 60 people have died from it.

It is an infection of the small intestine caused by a bacterium and characterised by watery diarrhoea and vomiting. It normally results in dehydration.

The disease is mainly transmitted by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person.

Poor sanitation and lack of toilets at homes are the main drivers of the disease in Ghana.

The President therefore believes allowing children free access to public toilets could discourage indiscriminate open defecation into sewers, streams, rivers and the sea – a situation, which is seen as normal in most coastal areas of the country.

He has also ordered all District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to organise monthly clean up exercises towards fighting the disease.

“In 2008, there were 823 cases with no death reported; 2009 had 431 cases with 12 deaths; 2010 had seven cases with no death; 2011, we recorded over 9,000 cases with 72 deaths; 2012 there was close to 7,000 cases with 48 deaths; 2013 recorded 22 cases with no death”, she mentioned.

Source: starrfmonline.com
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