Thursday, May 30, 2013

UNICEF, Japan Support Ghana To Prevent Cholera

Sherry Ayittey
Source: UNICEF

A new US$1.5 million partnership between UNICEF Ghana and the Government of Japan will help prevent and respond to cholera outbreaks in Ghana.

The Cholera Prevention and Response Project will bring safe water to 35,000 people, support 250,000 people to access sanitation and give families and health workers the skills to prevent and diagnose cholera.

It will also improve the capacity of emergency response teams during outbreaks of the disease.

Cholera has become endemic in many parts of Ghana due to poor basic sanitation, high rates of open defecation (less than 10 per cent latrine coverage and use), and lack of public awareness in many areas.

UNICEF Acting Representative Sarah Hague said children were often the most vulnerable due to exposure at school and play.

“There is a need to build systems to respond to outbreaks while ensuring that people’s ability to prevent outbreaks, identify symptoms and seek treatment are enhanced,” she said.

Last year, Ghana recorded more than 9,500 cases of cholera with 100 deaths. Anecdotal reports since then indicate that most of the affected districts have had recurring cholera outbreaks due to poor supplies of potable water, poor household and environmental sanitation and poor hygiene behaviours.

His Excellency Ambassador of Japan to Ghana Naoto Nikai commented on the grant.

“The Government of Japan is pleased to extend a grant of US$1,500,000 to UNICEF PROJECT of “Cholera Prevention and Response” to prevent and respond to cholera in Ghana.”

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