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Fact-check: Accra has not recorded a cholera case since 2017

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Claim: The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, says that the capital city has not recorded a case of Cholera in a long time

Verdict: True. Even though the Mayor had not given a specific timeline, between 2017 and January 2021, there has been no reported case of Cholera in Accra.

Full Story

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said that the capital city had not recorded a single cholera case in a long time.

He was speaking at the launch of the Assembly’s Electoral Areas Sanitation Challenge.

His statement was captured in a report published on various online news websites such as citinewsroom.com and www.businessghana.com 

The initiative, according to the Assembly, was aimed at establishing “the status of environmental sanitation in electoral areas quarterly, creating a sanitation database for decision making, facilitating investment in sanitation, emphasising remedial measures, promoting local ownership of environmental sanitation issues, as well as incentivizing community initiatives on sanitation management.”

Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah touted the achievements of the Assembly with regards to sanitation, saying that it had led to a zero case of cholera over a long period.

“Today, we are confident in saying that Accra for a long time has not recorded a single cholera case, and that’s the impact of the interventions that we’ve put in place,” he said.

Verification

Although Hon. Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah did not give a specific timeline for the period he claimed that Accra has not recorded a case of Cholera, the reporter looked into the Cholera situation in Accra since 2017 – the year in which Mr. Sowah was first appointed.

The reporter referred to the Ghana Weekly Epidemiological Report (GWER), a publication of the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health.

The GWER publishes reports of public health interest and importance, thereby informing its readership of the developments in the health sector in Ghana.

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We examined a total of 120 reports and found no cases of Cholera recorded from Accra. However, cases of Cholera that were found in these reports were outside of Accra.

One of those cases was in Cape Coast (September 2017) and the other two were in Ketu South (October 2018).

In the other reports where no cases were found, it was indicated in the report that:

“During the week, there was no confirmed case of Cholera” 

The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, said when asked about the last time a cholera case was recorded in Accra “that should be in 2015.”

Conclusion

The claim by the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, can be considered as true as Accra has not recorded a single case of Cholera, at least, since 2017.

This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking. 

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