Good hygiene stressed for cholera prevention
Guyana is currently facing a rainy season which could lead to some level of flooding, though for short periods in some instances, a situation that should not be taken for granted. According to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, there is an urgent need for people to be even more careful about their health.
“We urge people to boil water before use. And I am urging that children do not play in flood waters.”
The Minister is making the appeal against the backdrop of the recent cholera outbreak in the Region. At the moment, Haiti is suffering from the devastating impact of this disease.
“Haiti is not that far away. We have people travelling to Haiti and near to Haiti—places like Jamaica, Miami, the Bahamas—and they have all seen how the risk could escalate. Guyana does not want to deal with the possibility of having to deal with cholera so prevention is better than cure.”
Dr. Ramsammy emphasised that all of the good hygiene practices are “the stop cholera initiative,” adding that Guyana has established a ‘Stop Cholera Campaign’, which is currently being implemented. The Ministry has also established a national oversight committee which is a broad stakeholder committee that includes the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as efforts are made to promote activities that would stop cholera.
“It is the regular good hygiene things; boil water, wash our hands, wash fruits and vegetables before use, and cook our foods thoroughly,” said Minister of Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration. The disease is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water.
Water may be contaminated by the faeces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food is often contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or because it was handled by a person ill with cholera.