The Rains and Its Health Implications

Rain does not only come with floods. There are serious health implications associated, that calls for the need for preparation and caution.
In most occasions, there is an associated increased rate of transmission of infectious diseases (- diseases that can be transferred from one person to another). Water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and Hepatitis A and Vector borne diseases such as Malaria are usually on the rise in the raining season.
 
These diseases are already endemic in Ghana and accounts for high Out Patient Department (OPD) visits even in the harmattan and the dry season.
 

Malaria

 

Malaria is an acute infection caused by bites from the female anopheles mosquito. Persons suffering the disease usually experience fever and general body weakness. It has a high mortality rate especially among children under 5years and pregnant women.
 
Standing water caused by heavy rainfall act as breeding sites for mosquitoes. Also rain water left in empty cans and containers can also serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes, thereby increasing the number of vectors available to spread the disease.
 
There is therefore an urgent need to clear swampy and bushy areas and proper disposal of empty tins which usually serve as a breeding site for the mosquitoes. Also receptacles use for keeping water in households should be well covered to prevent mosquitoes from breeding inside them.
 
Pregnant women must ensure that they are on their malaria prophylaxis treatment (given at Antenatal Clinic). Sleeping under Insecticide Treated Nets is a proven way of preventing malaria and must be used especially by pregnant women and children under 5years.
 

Cholera

Cholera is an acute intestinal disease characterised by profuse vomiting and diarrhoea. It’s caused by eating and drinking contaminated food and water.
 
In Ghana, it commonly occurs in epidemics affecting large number of people at a time.  There is high risk of contamination of drinking-water facilities during the rains therefore increasing the incidence of the disease among the population.
 
The best way to avoid cholera and other water borne diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery and Hepatitis A is by being conscious about hygiene and ensuring that consumable foods and water are boiled properly and covered. Also fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw must be washed thoroughly before eating.
 
Children should not be allowed to play in stagnant waters and muddy areas as there is an increased risk of infections contracted through direct contact with polluted waters, such as wound infections, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, ear, nose and throat infections.
 

 

Community health is the responsibility of every member of the community. We must encourage persons seen with signs any of these infectious diseases to seek early treatment from the nearest health centre to prevent spread of the disease to other members of the community.

 By Prince Assandoh-Mensah (RN, BSN- CHN, Clinical Nurse)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: