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Health Authorities Target Boarding Schools In Anti-Cholera Fight 

By Peterkins Manyong

Officials of the Northwest Delegation of Public Health have taken the anti-cholera campaign to boarding schools.

Addressing school authorities and Parent/Teachers Association, PTA, officials, after an inspection tour of some boarding schools in Bamenda, Dr. Victor Ndiforchu, Northwest Delegate of Health, said it is in such institutions that cholera and other epidemics spread fastest.

The reason, he said, is that the children in such institutions mix more frequently than those of day schools: they eat, sleep together and use the same toilet facilities. A single child with cholera is already the source of the epidemic. A sketch of the schools visited revealed appalling hygiene conditions in some and exemplary ones in others.

Ndiforchu promised to target day schools for the next inspection and called on the PTA and managers of schools to assist school heads, materially and financially, to improve on the hygiene in the schools, so as to curb the spread of the disease. Cholera, he said, could only be averted through personal hygiene: washing the hands thoroughly, using soap before eating and after using the toilet. The disease, he disclosed, kills easily because of the fast manner in which it dehydrates the patient.

When this happens, he advised, the patient should dissolve a teaspoonful of salt and five cubes of sugar in one litre of clean water and drink, before leaving immediately for the nearest treatment centre. To prevent it, habits like shaking of hands should be curbed. The main source of cholera, are contaminated food and water.

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