Health Department plans ‘Green’ war on cholera

National, Normal


THE Health Department is to launch a “Green Ribbon” campaign as a short- term effort to address the cholera outbreak in the Momase region.
Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said yesterday the campaign, verbally endorsed by the Health Minister, would focus on the location and use of pit toilets in the country.
“Rural areas are to be provided with proper water supplies,” he added.
Cholera is a disease which is commonly found where there are poor water and sanitation facilities. It can only be controlled or eradicated with proper facilities.
“The way to go about this problem is to build pit toilets away from water sources so that water consumed is free of contamination,” Mr Malau said.
The “Green Ribbon” campaign will aim at raising awareness of the importance of pit toilets and diseases like diarrhoea and cholera.
It also seeks to address the concept of clean water supplies to rural areas.
Dr Malau said: “Unlike the Red Ribbon campaign for HIV/AIDS, which is difficult to judge in terms of progress because it is a problem with individual sexual behaviour, this campaign can be measured.
“If everyone in the country build pit toilets, know how to keep their water supplies clean and avoid getting water contaminated-related diseases, we will resolve the problem,” he said.
“In the long-term, we will look at how the department’s 10-year plan to bring about piped water to the rural folk can work in line with Vision 2050.
“The urban areas have clean toilets and piped water is treated with chlorine. But in rural areas, the water source must be far from pit toilets.
“And the task to encourage the use of proper toilets is a big issue.”
He said the department would also be looking into proper coordination of donors to ensure services and resources reached the right people.