Ghana: Cholera patients treated in UN refugee tents

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Health
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The outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country has exposed the teething challenges faced by the various health centres.

Currently, two children believed to be under the age of ten are responding to treatment in an isolated dilapidated refugee tent, donated to the Kasoa Health Center by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee agency.

A health assistant attending to one of the cholera affected patients in the UN refugee tent.

It is believed the kids might have spent some nights at the hospital on beds which has no mattress.

This pathetic situation, therefore, attracted the attention of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who ordered for the immediate provision of mosquito nets to the affected children when he visited the health center to acquaint himself with latest developments on the epidemic and how the infirmary, was responding to reported cholera cases.

The number of cholera affected patients was not immediately known but inside sources said the Kasoa community is one of the hard hit in the Awutu Senya District which is one of the fastest growing communities in the country.

Data read in Parliament by the MP for Asawase recently indicated that the menace had claimed 54 lives out of the 3,286 reported cases as of March 10, 2011 with the Greater Accra Region recording the highest number followed by the Eastern and the Central Regions.

The Upper West was reported to have the least cases coming from one district affected by the disease.

In the Greater Accra as of Sunday, March 27, 2011, recorded data indicated that a total of 4,190 cases were reported with 36 deaths. The Accra Municipal Assembly recorded the highest number of reported cases while the Ga East and South followed in that order.

Current figures released by the Ghana Health Services put the number of recorded deaths nationwide at 70.

Alarmed by the situation, Mr. Ampofo has tasked all health assistant workers in the country to intensify the government’s public outreach program on health and sanitation nationwide.

He said the epidemic was a shared responsibility which demands for all hands on deck to address the situation.

According to him, the youth in the Ga East Municipal Assembly were the worst affected by the epidemic, a situation he said demands for immediate attention.

“About 50% of all reported cases in the Ga East Municipal Assembly are the youth. This is worrying and something needs to done immediately to halt the spread,” he said.

The dilapidated UN refugee tent which is being used for cholera patients at the Kasoa Health Center.


A US$155,000.00 cesspit emptier tank as well as some veronica buckets financed by the Ministry of Local Government and ZoomLion Ghana Limited was donated to the Ga East Municipal Assembly to facilitate their work in fighting against the cholera outbreak.

Mr. Ampofo who was accompanied by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashitey made the presentation.

The Ga East is reported to have recorded 530 cholera cases with one death. According to the MCE, John Kow Sackey, most of the cases were brought in from Adenta.

Mr. Sackey said the situation demands immediate response and based on that his outfit was relying on the Ministry of Information to educate the public by distributing fliers and sending letters to social groups among many others.

The entourage also visited the La Nkwantanang D/A 1&2 Primary and Junior High School where a six-seater mobile toilet facility and some veronica buckets were presented to the.

Another health assistant attending to one of the affected patients inside the UN donated refugee tent.

The items were meant to help address the numerous sanitation problems the school was facing. Mr. Ampofo who made the presentation tasked the school to make good use of the facility else his outfit would be compelled to take it back.

The items were received on behalf of the school by the Ga East Municipal Director of Education, Mrs. Cynthia Bosomtwi-Sam.

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