Ashanti Region has recorded its first cholera death while 21 others are in critical conditions since renewed outbreak of the disease in parts of the country in recent months.
Three districts in the region have recorded more than one case each since the beginning of this month, health authorities said.
Public health officials warn the situation could get worse if sanitation is not improved.
This will be the worst cholera outbreak in the region in four years.
It comes after the Greater Accra Region reported 47 deaths from over 4,000 confirmed cases since the outbreak of the disease in June.
Adansi South District, where the infection claimed one life, has recorded five cases while the Kumasi metropolis leads with seven.
A chunk of Kumasi’s cases were recorded at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Kumasi South Hospital.
The death occurred at Kokonteng where many residents engage in open air defecation.
The Komfo Anokye Hospital has treated 10 cases, including five Kumasi residents while the others came from outside the city.
Authorities say conditions and factors that prompted the outbreak in Accra are prevalent in Kumasi and other parts of the region.
They cite piled-up refuse, open defecation and general insanitary conditions as the causes.
Deputy Regional Director in charge of Public Health, Dr. Joseph Oduro, warned until open defecation is completely discontinued, more people will fall victim to cholera.
“People are practicing open defecation and if a fly take some piece of the stool and lands on your water or your food, you are likely to get infected and get cholera.
“The community that we are talking about, Kokonteng in the Adansi South District, there’s a lot of open defecation around those areas. Probably that’s why we recorded five cases of cholera”, Dr. Oduro explained.
Head of Public Health Unit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr Dennis Odai Laryea, who has been involved in massive health education told Nhyira News the situation calls for urgent attention.
“If you go to Kejetia in the night, the kind of refuse you see around, you know we don’t manage our waste properly including human excreta and these are very fertile grounds for the germs that cause cholera to grow”, a worried Dr. Laryea explained.
Dr. Laryea and other public health workers in the region are however surprised at the small number of people affected by the disease since, with the prevailing insanitary conditions, it could be worse.
“If we continue this way, we could even have a bigger outbreak than there is in Accra. Kumasi is a transit point between the north and the south. If there’s an outbreak here, we could also be distributing it to other parts of the country so we should be worried”, revealed Dr. Laryea.
Meanwhile, the Regional Health Directorate says it has stepped up public education on the disease.
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