Government in a desperate attempt to end the growing number of cholera cases has initiated discussions with the World Health Organization (WHO) to supply vaccines to help bring the situation under control.
Over 10,000 cholera cases have been recorded in seven regions with over 80 deaths.
According to the WHO, Ghana’s highest number of recorded cholera cases was 14,160 in 1983. Therefore, the 2014 outbreak with the recorded 10,000 cases, could be the second highest.
Speaking to Citi News, Deputy Health Minister, Victor Bampoe said the vaccine from the WHO is one of the short-term measures being implemented by government to address the situation.
He disclosed that there are two potent oral vaccines and the government is working with the WHO to “see whether Ghana qualifies to use the vaccines in the current epidemic.”
The minister said they will make a final decision about whether to vaccinate people in the three regions of the north or affected areas in the southern part of the country. This is expected to prevent the possible spread of the disease from the south to the northern part of the country.
The vaccines, according to the Deputy Health Minister could also be administered “strategically” to residents in the affected regions to break the transmission of the disease.
Dr. Bampoe told Citi News, the WHO has specific guidelines on which category of individuals could be given the oral vaccines.
“For one of them, you will give it to children over the age of one and with the other, you will give it to children over the age of two,” he said.
He pointed out that when the WHO releases the drug, government will decide on how to use it “if indeed we qualify to use.”
The WHO will send over some officials to undertake some scientific assessments on the cholera situation in Ghana before the vaccines may be released.
Last week Dr. Joseph Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of Health Services told Citi News that the region is recording more cholera cases with a total of 255 so far.
Out of that number 5 people have been confirmed dead while the rest are receiving treatment at various health facilities in the region.
“We have directed environmental officers to clean all food vending joints. Any food vendor who refuses cooperate would have to be sanctioned,” he added.
“Ketu South has recorded 116 cases, Nkwanta South 72, Ketu North 19 and then Ho 3,” Dr. Dr. Nuertey indicated.
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