Death toll from Ghana cholera outbreak hits 61

The Ghana Health Service has recorded over 4,000 cholera cases and 61 deaths since an outbreak of cholera began there in late 2010.

Officials working with disease surveillance at the Ghana Health Service report that the situation is urgent and in need of immediate attention, according to

Health facilities across the country, particularly in Accra, the nation's largest city, are reporting a daily increase in the number of cases.

Dr. Joseph Amankwa, the director of public health at the Ghana Health Service, told that poor sanitation and personal hygiene practices are partially to blame.

“Some of the shell fish, and sea foods are some of the causes of cholera,” Amankwa said, according to “If you pick sea food that is contaminated and not properly prepared you will get cholera.

“People are disposing waste anyhow on main roads, highways and close to rivers. The waste is supposed to be dumped at landfill sites but where are the landfill sites in Accra and other districts? We don’t have them and until we address that, it is going to be a major problem for us and every year we are going to have cholera.”

Health officials in Tema are also concerned, as the number of cholera cases reported there is also on the rise. Edward Sharde, public health director at the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, said that residents do not appear to be using basic hygiene practices.

“We are carrying out vigorous health inspection in all premises both residential and non-residential,” Sharde said, according to “We are educating people at the markets, chop bars, street side sellers, food sellers and fast food joints on how to prevent cholera by keeping their surroundings clean, protecting the water they drink and keeping personal hygiene at the uttermost level because cholera is spread through contamination.”