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As Cholera Outbreak Sweeps Across States

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The recent outbreak of Cholera in some states has created a new concern for residents as governments at all levels make frantic effort to curtail the spread even as new cases continue to spring up. AGBO-PAUL AUGUSTINE (Abuja) HUSSAINI HAMMANGABDO (Yola)  ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI (Kano) ACHOR ABIMAJE (Jos) And HEMBADOON ORSAR (Makurdi) reports.

With 434 suspected cases recorded with 13 deaths as at May 26, 2018 in Adamawa State, the development is worrisome as more people get infected with the deadly disease in more states of the federation as the rains continue to wash down faeces, dead animals, wastes from towns and cities into rivers, streams and other sources of water for the rural people.

The contamination of sources of drinking water and overflowed rivers banks, into shallowed hand drilled boreholes as a result of heavy downpour, has been identified as major causes of cholera out break in the state.

No fewer than 264 cases of the outbreak had been recorded in Mubi-North, Mubi-South and some inmates in Mubi prisons had been admited for treatment at Mubi General Hospital last week.

Ahmad Sajoh, commissioner of Information and Strategy, who led government delegation for on the spot assessment to the hospital said, government had provided drugs and consumables needed to curtail the outbreak in the state.

Sajoh, noted 50 persons had been trained on water hygiene and sanitation, for house-to-house hygiene promotion as well as investigate and report cases hitherto not reported for action.

He stated that, Emergency Response Centre and dedicated toll line had been established, in the state Ministry of Health for quick response action.

According to him, UNICEF provided chlorine for improved water hygiene in the affected area in the two local governments.

He pointed out that, international humanitarian organisations like WHO, UNICEF, ICR, and OCHA, had mobilised to the area to render needed health services to the people, adding that with the exception of 12 deaths recorded in the initial stage of the hospital, no more dead was recorded.

Sajoh, commended the role played by volunteers in supporting the hospital to cope with the outbreak in view of ongoing nationwide health workers strike describing their role as noble and patriotic.

Sajoh urged for more involvement of traditional and religious leaders in mobilising the public on preventing measures such as personal and environmental hygiene.

Ahmed Rufai, commissioner for Water Resources, said government had signed MoU with UNICEF and paid it counterpart fund for water supply in the state.

Meanwhile, the principal medical officer (PMO) of Mubi General Hospital, Dr Ezra Sakawa said most of the 223 cholera patients has been treated and discharged.

Sakawa made this known while receiving the state government delegation led by the commissioner for Health, Dr Fatima Atiku who visited the hospital for on the spot assessment.

“The number of patients now on admission is less than 50,” Sakawa said.

He cited contaminated water as the possible source of the outbreak and listed Nasarawo, Yelwa and Sabon Layi Wards of Mubi town as the worst affected.

The commissioner for Health, Dr Fatima Atiku lauded the commitment shown by the PMO and other stakeholders and assured them of the government readiness to continue to support them.##

The Plateau state commissioner of health Dr. Kunden Kamshak, who had in an earlier interview told our correspondent that there were no cases of cholera in Plateau State addressed Journalists on Monday disclosing three deaths from the outbreak.

He had told our Correspondent that the state has not recorded any cases of cholera outbreak since this year.

But things quickly changed as the disease could break at any moment in time.

According to him, the state government has been sensitising its citizenry on the need to keep their environment clean while making it mandatory that every last Saturday of the month is slated for environmental sanitation to enable the people keep their houes and and offices clean by clearing their surrounding and drainages.

He pointed out that now that the rain season has set in people should endeavour to wash their vegetable and fruit very clean before cooking and eating them.

The commissioner also added that people should avoid  over crowded area, open defecation and drink water from a clean source  to  avoid the pandemic in the state .

The state government disclosed the deaths of three persons in the state as result of the outbreak of cholera disease.

Dr Kamshak, the Healt commissioner confirmed this in Jos while briefing Journalists at the Ministry of Health.

He also disclosed that the state has recorded two positive cases of Monkeypox in Shendam Local Government of the State.

According to him for the past two years, the state did not recorded any cholera outbreak until on the 23rd of May, 2018 where the state has recorded a total of 126 suspected cases, while have been five confirmed and three deaths.

“The epidemic is recorded in six (6) wards in Jos North local government area to includes, Naraguta B, Abba Na Shehu, Lamingo, Angwan Roko/Rimi, Ali Kazaure and Jenta Adamu”.

He said the major contributor to the outbreak of the cholera disease in the State is as result of unhealthy environment and the long strike action by JOHESU hinders the state to immediately curtail the outbreak.

In curbing the spread of the disease, the state is collaboration with Primary Health Care Development Board in the state such as WHO, UNICEF, Doctors without borders and NCDC have been responding to contain with the disease.

While speaking on the Monkey pox Dr Kamshak said, ” Plateau State had recoded two (2) positive cases of Monkey pox all in Shendam LGC and the first case was imported from Portharcourt who came for treatment at home on the 3rd of May 2018 and eventually the elder brother became infected and reported on the 23rd May, 2018.”

Meanwhile, Dr Raymond Juryit,  an epidemiologist has disclosed that  the outbreak of Cholera is attributed to overcrowding, dirty environment and the consumption of unhygienic food and water.

He described cholera as a “deadly disease” that could kill “within the shortest possible time because its dehydrates the victim, leading to severe gastro-intestinal impact”.

The medical expert explained further that the victims suffered chronic diarrhoea and vomiting, saying that many had been hit by the disease before government intervened.

The epidemiologist explained that he had advised health workers in private and government health centres on ways to avert a recurrence of the ailment and also on how to quickly manage the situation if it arose.

He called on government at all levels to ensure that the monthly sanitation exercise was taken seriously, especially in rural areas, to ensure good hygiene for rural dwellers.

Juryit also appealed to government to provide portable water to rural dwellers, pointing out that dirty water was the main cause of the epidemic.

He called on people in the area to promptly report any case of diarrhoea or vomiting to the nearest health centre, saying that quick action could minimise casualty rates.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium, Vibrio cholera Choleragenic V. cholera O1 and O139 are the only causative agents of the disease.

Kano government denies outbreak in the state

Mix grill has continued to trail the outbreak of cholera outbreak in Kano as independent reports disclosed that four persons lost their lives to fresh cholera outbreak in Wulari ward, in Kumbotso local government area recently

The chairman of Kumbotso LGA, Kabiru Ado Panshekara, who confirmed the incident, said measures have been adopted to halt further spread of outbreak.

He said relatives of the victims reported the fresh outbreak to local government health officials.

A resident of the ward, Mallam Mohammadu Auwal, alleged that, two of his children Izeru Auwal, an 11-year-old and Abdullahi Auwal, a 10-year-old, breath their last, while receiving medication.

He said the children developed cholera symptom, “They were rushed to Yusuf Maitama Hospital in Kwanar Dawaki, Kano, where they passed away.”

Another resident, Suleiman Jingi said he also lost two of his children to the outbreak.

According to him, his daughter Aisha Jibril, three-year-old, and son named Suleiman, a four-year-old, developed the symptoms, he said, they lost their lives while receiving medication.

The council chairman noted that, relevant state government agencies have been informed about the outbreak.

But the public relations officer of the Kano State Ministry of Health, Ismaila Gwanmaja, denied what he described as the rumoured outbreak of cholera in the state.

He alleged that, the claimed outbreak is the handy work of mischief makers and fifth columnist.

Gwanmaja pointed out that, the state Ministry of Health is well informed of the eminent danger that looms, noting that, the ministry is deeply engrossed in working towards the barricading those agents that may lead and result to outbreak of the deadly ailment in the state.

He disclosed that, to devoid been caught unawares, the ministry has set up two centres located within the premises of Infectious Diseases Hospital IDH, France road, and ‘Yar-Gaya Hospital outside Kano metropolis, to carter for arisen cases of cholera outbreak,  if need so be.

The spokesman, said the selected centres have been stock piled with assorted drugs, consumables, ORS and needed medications to carter for mild and severe cases associated with cholera outbreak.

Gwanmaja noted that, the state Ministry of Health has embarked on mass sensitisation on electronic media to educate the populace on how to eschew out break and its further spread.

However, Gwanmaja dismissed the fear that has enveloped the air, on outbreak of the ailment, adding that traditional rulers have been mobilized to monitor developments within their domain.

Our correspondent gathered that, non governmental organisation (NGO’s) operating in the state are on red alert, in case of any eventuality.

Benue on high alert over cholera, measles Kills 15 children

Benue State commissioner for Health and Human services Dr Cecilia Ojabo has disclosed that there is no case of cholera outbreaks in Benue state.

Our correspondent who went round most of the areas prone to cholera outbreak like Wadata, an area normally affected in any outbreak of the disease and some of the private clinics located in the area which usually filled up but there is no such case found.

A medical personnel in one of the hospital who spoke in place of the medical director of one of the hospital but pleaded anonymity said since the beginning of this year, the hospital has not treated any case of cholera.

LEADERSHIP Sunday also went round the Internally Displaced persons (IDP) camp where there is huge population and the sanitary condition of residents especially, women and children is pathetic discovered that about 15 children have lost there lives following the outbreak of measles at Abagena camp in Makurdi local government area of the state while 30 were still in critical condition.

A 45 year old father of 6 whose 2 children were down by the disease disclosed that his children Orseer Tyowua and Mimidoo have been suffering from the disease for almost two weeks.

“Although we. have taking these children to the hospital for treatment, before we came back it is not easy as you can see, even though the government is trying it is not easy for us, my children got this measles because of the congestion in this camp because measles is a communicable disease that can transmit fast and here the place is over populated, I am appealing to the government to beef up security to allow us go back to our homes that is the only thing that will bring succour

Another measles patient, Sarah Taver, a pregnant woman, narrating her ordeal said she got the measles through the children of her neighbour who they were sleeping in the same apartment.

A source who simply identify herself as mama Aboy, told our Correspondent that one of her room mate,  a mother of two recently had a miscarriage because of this disease “which they took for fever and later led to miscarriage and that was how the disease has been spreading till over 30 persons mostly children in this camp are  affected”.

When contacted one of the officials at the camp, Nicodemus  Iorchir, confirmed the deaths however said, most of the deaths were not related to the outbreak of measles but other diseases because of the congestion in the camp, adding that the situation has been put under control.

He however disclosed that out of the over 34,000 inmates in the camp, about 23 of them were discovered to be infected with the disease.

WHO deploys 39 staff to Mubi, Adamawa State

In response to the outbreak of cholera in some parts of Adamawa State, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has deployed 39 staff to contain the outbreak of cholera in Mubi North and Mubi South local government areas of the state.

WHO in a statement in Yola, said there were plans to engage additional 15 ad hoc personnel to boost the medical efforts.

It said WHO was coordinating the response activities, including active surveillance within communities and health facilities, management of reported cases as well as daily review meeting at the Emergency Operations Centre, to ensure timely control of the outbreak.



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