Water

Ghanaians have been advised to drink from good sources of water as the country awaits the deployment of the typhoid vaccines.

The Typhoid Vaccine, which is currently under trial in the Asante Akim North District of the Ashanti Region, seeks to generate data to support decision-making and the management of typhoid fever in the sub-region.

Dr Micheal Owusu-Ansah, a Specialist Family Physician at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Coordinator of the Typhoid Vaccines, who gave the advice, said it was important for people to purify water that would be used for drinking, washing and preparing food as contaminated water was the leading cause of typhoid fever in the country.

Dr Owusu-Ansah told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that by practicing preventive measures, one’s safety of not getting the illness was assured.

Typhoid, according to studies, remain a global public health burden, yet annual estimates of prevalence vary. In Ghana, for instance, typhoid fever has been ranked among the top 20 causes of outpatient of hospital admissions.

He stated that despite the unavailability of national data to show infection rate, studies were ongoing to ensure robust surveillance system.

The Typhoid Vaccine Coordinator, noted that even though most people visited the Out-Patients Department, showing symptoms of typhoid fever, upon liberal testing it later turned out to be other diseases.

However, it was important that people do not wait till they have the disease before they start doing the needful, he said.

Cook all food, avoid food from street vendors, as well as food served at room temperature. Instead, meals should be served steaming hot, he added.

Dr Owusu-Ansah noted that to prevent typhoid prevalence, Ghanaians especially mothers should teach their children proper hygiene by washing their hands with soap and clean warm water after using the washroom and before meals.

This is very important because recent studies conducted indicated that children below nine months and up to five years were more susceptible and presented severe conditions.

He urged mothers to be wary of the food they bought for their children within the age bracket, saying,” ensure that your hands are always clean before feeding and breastfeeding your children.”

Dr Owusu-Ansah appealed to government to put systems in place to allow proper diagnosis of typhoid, just as malaria.

Typhoid fever is a serious and sometimes life-threatening infection, which mostly affects people in developing countries, where sanitation is poor and getting clean water is a problem.

It is caused by bacteria called Salmonella typhi (S. typhi), which are related to the salmonella bacteria that cause food poisoning. They typically live in humans and are shed through a person’s faeces and urine.

The infection happens when a person eats or drinks something contaminated with the bacteria. When the bacteria get into the body, they quickly multiply and spread into the bloodstream.

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Author: GNA

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