On Wednesday 10thSeptember 2014,the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and Blogging Ghana held a forum at the Bloggers Ghana hub to sensitize the public on Ebola and Cholera prevention and management.
Dr.Ayegua Hagan Seneadza, a representative of GMA explained that, Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. Food can be contaminated by water that has cholera germs in it or food prepared or handled by a person sick with cholera. She added that, every year, there was an estimated 3–5 million cholera cases in the world with 100,000–120,000 deaths (WHO).
Speaking on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Dr. Ayegua noted that it is a severe often fatal illness with a death rate of up to 90% and affects both humans and non-human primates.
The Ebola virus contains five species which are:
•Reston ebolavirus (RESTV)
•Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV)
•Tai Forest ebolavirus (TAFV)
•Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV)
As of 6th September 2014, there has been a total of 3,944 suspected cases and 2,097 confirmed deaths of EVD.
The hardest hit countries are neighboring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Ebola virus is spread through human-to-human via direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, vomit, semen, urine, stools, and sweat containing the virus. Ebola is also transmitted by contact with corpses of infected persons or animals and contaminated surfaces/objects.
She cited a couple of interventions being undertaken to control the Cholera epidemic and to prevent an Ebola Outbreak. These included among others educational campaigns with the use of information vans, electronic, print and digital media, media briefing and sensitization, clean-up exercises in the cities, surveillance at the ports of entry and preparing health personnel to take care of Ebola patients.
In the end she mentioned that, regular hand washing with soap under running safe water and regular application of hand sanitizer in cases where you do not readily have water were ways of reducing the risk of Cholera and Ebola infections. Again she said, food must be cooked (especially animal products) properly and one must wear gloves and use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for an ill person especially in the case of Ebola.
Gazie Decker, Head of Brand Development and Activations at PZ Cussons announced that the business was partnering with the GMA on this forum as part of an initiative to drive awareness and educate the general public on Cholera and Ebola. He indicated that as a Business, with operations in this part of the world where certain habits and cultures normally predispose people to some of these dangerous infections, PZ Cussons thought it a laudable idea to embark on such an initiative. He also added that PZ Cussons and the GMA were, as part of this project, working on other platforms, to not only educate but also to give free samples of Camel and Carex products to consumers. This is especially beneficial at a time in the history of this country where we have recorded over 5,000 cases of Cholera in a little over 2 months.
Stephen Boadi, Head of Digital at PZ Cussons also indicated the business had adopted social media as one of the platforms in driving this CSR agenda. “Our Facebook pages, Carex Ghana and Camel Antiseptic Ghana are dedicated to teaching hand hygiene and promoting germ free environment” he added.
For more information, visit Carex Ghana (Facebook), Camel Antiseptic Ghana (Facebook) and www.carex.com.gh. Follow the campaign online at #NoChoBo