‘Water shortage may lead to cholera’


-Deputy Health Minister

May 30, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura

Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Madina Rahman, has said that the current water crisis in Freetown and its environs mi9ght cause a cholera outbreak and other water borne diseases.

“Because of the areas where people go to fetch water, I am worried that we may experience water borne diseases,” she noted.

Madam Rahman was updating newsmen last Thursday at a presser held at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi building in Freetown.

She said the country was challenged by acute water shortage and that she was worried there could be a serious disease outbreak because people collect drinking water from unprotected sources without boiling or filtering.

She said about 1.8 million people die from cholera and other water borne diseases annually around the world, adding that it was a concern for the government.

Madam Rahman noted that it was the responsibility of every Sierra Leonean to educate the public on how to treat drinking water in order to prevent water borne diseases.

She recalled that after World Health Organisation declared Sierra Leone Ebola free, people deviated from hygiene practices and reverted to their usual unhealthy and dangerous practices.

Madam Rahman also said that during the Ebola outbreak in the country, good hygiene measures helped prevent a cholera outbreak, adding that Sierra Leoneans should pay attention to those measures that help them stay healthy.

She said the use of unpurified water to bath could also lead to skin infection, with children particularly vulnerable because of weaker immune system.

She stated that as part of the post-Ebola recovery plans, the ministry has a ten to twenty-four months plan that was aimed at reducing maternal death, maintain a resilience health system, as well as pay attention to Ebola survivors.

She said the ministry would recruit more midwives, reduce teenage pregnancy as a main cause of maternal mortality, develop adolescent friendly health service, set up an ambulance centre, and provide drugs for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in all health facilities across the country.

The deputy health minister acknowledged there were not enough health personnel in the country, but noted that the ministry was working towards recruiting more personnel.