Health authorities managing the flood crisis in the North Tongu District have reported no incidence of cholera three weeks into the environmental disaster, despite an estimated 35,000 people affected in eight districts within the Lower Volta region.
Michael Kofi Zigah, District Director of Health Services at North Tongu, provided an update during a visit by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service at the National Emergency Operations Centre for flood relief efforts on Monday.
Mr Zigah stated, “There was no cholera among the top ten cases recorded in the hard-hit district.” Instead, the prevalent cases primarily consisted of skin diseases and some muscle complications, all of which were being appropriately managed.
While two suspected tuberculosis cases returned negative results, there were also some schizo cases, although these were not new to the area. An isolation centre has been prepared at the Battor Hospital to manage any referred cases.
Mr. Zigah commended stakeholders, including the Volta River Authority (VRA), for their efforts to ensure an ample supply of medications. Facilities in the district unaffected by the flood were being configured to manage cases, with ten medical doctors and several clinical nurses working tirelessly to provide care.
Extensive risk communication formed a crucial part of the public health intervention, undertaken in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education. The teams have been moving from community to community to sensitize the people on communicable diseases and other risk factors.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, commended the team for their efforts to secure against high-risk diseases and announced the provision of 5,000 mosquito nets to prevent vector-borne diseases in the flood-affected districts. He also mentioned the consideration of the risk of dangerous animal invasions and the availability of anti-snake venom and other medical supplies.
The Ghana Health Service is supplying large quantities of disinfectants, washing soaps, sanitisers, and water purification materials. Strict waste management is being enforced in all safe havens within affected communities.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye expressed hope that the early response would help reverse anticipated health risks. Zoomlion has announced plans to provide free disinfection and vector control services, while various organizations are contributing mosquito nets, packaged water, and other essentials for the affected.
Dr. Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, Deputy Director of Health in charge of Public Health, highlighted the increased interventions that are helping control the situation and thanked partners for their continuous response. He noted that around 100 health professionals have been displaced due to the spilling of the Akosombo Dam but are still providing crucial healthcare to the displaced people.