The Central Regional Red Cross Society in collaboration with the Regional Health Directorate and other stakeholders have intensified efforts to prevent a possible cholera outbreak in the Region this year.
As part of the efforts, the Society has distributed 100 hand washing buckets, soap and detergents to communities, schools, public toilets and other public places to encourage hand washing practices.
The Region in the last quarter of 2016 recorded high cases of cholera with majority of the cases from the Cape Coast Metropolis.This, influenced an emergency collaboration between the Society, Ghana Health Service, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other stakeholders to bring the outbreak under control.
The collaboration proved effective and the Region is hoping to further strengthen it to intensify public education on environmental, personal and food hygiene and infections prevention.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a consultation forum to access the effectiveness of the collaboration between the agencies, Regional Director of Public Health, Dr Kwaku Karikari indicated that there had not been any case of cholera in the Region since January 4.
He said the continuous increase in cholera cases and the attendant deaths were unacceptable and required urgent steps to contain the spread.
Dr Kaikari said among other things that poor sanitation had been cited as one of the major causes of the increasing incidence of cholera in the Region.
He therefore called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to strictly enforce the existing sanitation bye-laws prosecute people and institutions that flout them.
Dr Karikari urged the public to maintain personal hygiene by cultivating the habit of hand washing to prevent the spread of diseases.
Mr Kofi Addo, Secretary General, Ghana Red Cross Society said though hand washing was very important in the prevention of the spread of cholera, many did not get access to simple hand washing tools, hence the distribution of the hand washing items to the communities.
He expressed dissatisfaction about the unhygienic surroundings in the various communities across the country and admonished Ghanaians to take sanitation issues seriously.
Mr Addo said individuals and stakeholders must play their roles to ensure that the communities were clean and free from the outbreak of diseases.
He admitted that Government alone could not provide the needed logistics for the red cross to effectively perform its functions and appealed to other corporate institutions to support the Red Cross Society.
Mr John Ekow Aidoo, Regional Manager, Ghana Red Cross Society said research had shown that hand washing accounted for about 42 per cent in the prevention of cholera.
He urged the public to always wash their hands before meals, before the preparation of food, after using the toilet, before feeding a child and after cleaning a child.