Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony issued a warning on Friday for people to ensure that their water sources are free from contamination during the ongoing floods. He reminded that contaminated water can give rise to a number of illnesses in both children and adults.
Dr. Anthony underscored that while heavy rainfall has triggered flooding in various parts of the country in recent days, it is crucial for persons who experiencing inundation take to precautions against consuming contaminated water.
He noted that persons can opt to add bleach or boil their water to ensure safe consumption as well as prevent diarrheal diseases.
“One teaspoon of bleach to one liter of water can help to disinfect the water and kill the germs. Chlorine tablets will also have the same effect,” Dr. Anthony explained.
The Minister noted that skin infection is also a medical condition that arises during floods and urged persons to seeking medical intervention if they experience same.
“If you have skin rashes, it is important that you come and see one of the Doctors at the Health Centers and they would be able to identify what type of rashes you have and prescribe the appropriate medication,” he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that floods can cause water-borne diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, and hepatitis A; along with vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and dengue haemorrhagic fever and yellow fever.
Persons who are living in flood prone areas are being advised to stay out of the water as much as possible, as it can greatly reduce their chances of contracting these diseases.
Additionally, persons who must venture into flood waters are urged to use protective gear, such as long boots, gloves, and eye protection. They can also apply Vaseline or oil to their skin, as it forms a barrier and provides some protection from the dirty water.