Madam Mary Ama Kudom Agyemang, a Media Expert on Thursday disclosed that about 19,000 Ghanaians die from diarrhoea and cholera annually due to the practise of Open Defecation in the country.
According to her, 29,000 people were affected by cholera outbreaks in 2004 alone, which cost the country an amount of $79 million yearly.
Madam Agyemang disclosed this during a Media summit on Open Defecation Free (ODF) in Tamale, which brought together media practitioners from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Brong Ahafo Regions.
The summit organised by the World Vision in collaboration with Kings Hall Media Limited was to sustain the interest of the media in the four regions in Open Defecation matters.
It was also to strengthen the capacity of the media practitioners from the target regions to campaign against Open Defecation in the country.
Madam Agyemang said currently, 19 per cent of the population of Ghana practised Open Defecation daily, which about six million people involved from every region and the districts in the country.
She mentioned that the practice was highest in the three Regions of the North and appealed to the media to embark on a lot of sensitisation to reverse the trend.
According to her, tourists complained about Open Defecation (OD) on the beaches and other tourist sites, which needed to be addressed and called on the Media to intensify advocacy and focus the agenda setting on OD in the country.
Madam Margaret Gwada, Chief of Field Office, of UNICEF urged the Media to create awareness on the dangers of Open Defecation, which affected personal and collective well-being of the public saying the Media needed to contribute more by campaigning to ensure that the Open Defecation Free Vision for the Country was kept alive.
Kings Hall Media Limited is a WASH Communications Consultancy firm, which provides communication services, communication capacity development, and WASH advocacy and ICT skills development in Ghana.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide in an effort to help them reach their full potential by tackling the underlying causes of poverty and injustice.