As part of efforts to prevent the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Cholera, the Asunafo South District Health Directorate has embarked on a day’s sensitization programme at Camp No 1, a farming community in the District.
The Ebola is one of the world’s deadliest diseases with more than 2500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria contracting the virus since March 2014 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) making the disease the biggest outbreak on record.
Speaking at the event with the ably support by Mr George Osei Bonsu a Senior Field Technician at the Sankore Health Centre, the District Health Director Mrs Joana Domitilla Debpuur explained the history of the epidemic as human disease caused by the Ebola virus which typically occurred in an outbreak in tropical regions of Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan in 1976 and 1979 respectively.
Mrs Domitilla Debpuur pointed out that while the Ebola virus might be contagious disease, it was however one that required direct contact. She further explained that it could be transmitted to humans through the bites of animals that were reservoirs for the virus such as monkeys and fruit bats.
It can also be transmitted through exposure to the excretion, blood or other bodily fluids of these animals which include dogs, she noted.
According to her, no case had been tested positive in Ghana but asked the public to be careful in handling suspected infected persons even after death, as it was believed that the virus could remain active for about 70 days.
Mrs Domitila Debpuur disclosed that, while there was no cure for the virus, symptomatic treatment was usually offered even as she pointed out that persons could take precautions by washing hands regularly with soap under running water, avoid contact with body fluid and other things that could place them at risk for contracting the virus.
Touching on Cholera, a Disease Control Officer at the District Health Directorate Mr Peter Koku Dogli said cholera no longer posed a threat to countries with minimum standards of hygiene, adding that it remained a challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation could not be guaranteed.
He took the gathering through the causes and preventions of the disease like improper waste disposal, the need for personal hygiene, washing of hands with soap and running water and proper refuse disposal.
Mr Koku Dogli said cholera was an acute diarrhea illness caused by bacteria that could result in profound and rapid by progressive dehydration and death.
He noted that ingestion of waste and food contaminated by infected human faeces was the common means of acquiring the disease.
He mentioned profuse painless watery diarrhea with fever and (often) vomiting or clear fluid as some of the causes of cholera.
He said the diarrhea was frequently described as “rice water” in nature and might have a fishy odor or somewhat sweet inoffensive odor.
According to him, preventive measures included proper sanitary practices, provision of safe water and facilities for proper disposal of faeces and preparation storage of food under good hygienic condition.
The Midwifery Officer at the Sankore Health Centre, Mrs Henrietta Hammond used the platform to call on Ghanaians to disabuse their minds on the misconceptions about family planning and seek accurate information and services from the right source and procedures.
That, she said, would help them to space out their births and plan for their children to enable them give quality education to them.
She explained the various methods of the Family Planning to them and asked them to seek advice from the appropriate health facility before they start the programme.
Mrs Hammond said the effective method of fighting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) was to use condoms during sex.
She therefore called on men to be actively involved in Family Planning to ensure the success of the progrmme.
Source:ISD (Emmanuel Yaw Acheampong)