breaks out in Upper East Region
By Abdul Salam Sule, Ghanadot
Accra, May 21, Ghanadot -
Information available to Ghanadot has it that, out of every 100 people in
the Upper East Region, 20 are suffering from floridies, a disease which
attacks the gum and teeth rendering them permanently brownish.
The most affected district in the region is the Bongo district where out of
over 77,000 population, 15,000 are reported to have been infected with the
According to medical science reports, the disease has the potential of not
only reducing the productive capacity of the individual because it weakens
the bones and joints but also reduces the persons life.
The report further revealed that, the disease is caused by high
concentration of flouride in underground water and research by the World
Health Organisation detected that most of the water bodies in the Upper East
Region especially the Bongo District contained high concentration of
flouride. As a result those who drink this water are affected by the
The social impact of the disease on the affected people is a glooming
picture of lost hope. At the Bongo Senior High School, it was discovered
that the situation has led to school drop out and the girls are the victims.
The girls said, they felt embarrassed when they tried to smile or laugh not
only among their peers but also in public for fear of exposing their
The situation is further compounded by the fact that junior high schools
graduates in the district refused placement to senior high schools outside
the district for fear of embarrassment.
Many interventions have however been tried but very little had been
achieved. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) intervened by
constructing a number of boreholes in the area to combat the disease but the
The Community Water and Sanitation Agency on their part took up the
challenge in 2006 and attempted to drastically reduce the disease by
drilling over 36 new boreholes in the Bongo district alone but the programme
had been stalled for the past two years.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional area, Bonaba Alenyarim Salifu
has appealed to the government to expedite action on the extension of
pipeborne water from Bolgatanga to the area.
Meanwhile, Mr Moses Nyaaba Barfo has advised parents and pupils in the area
to only drink treated sachet mineral water to avoid contracting the disease.