• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Cholera: Lagos records reduced daily cases

Cholera: Relief over 38% drop in reported cases in first week of July

…observes low-grade transmission in communities

The Lagos State government has confirmed a reduction in daily cholera cases from the spike reported two weeks ago, It also acknowledged evidence of ongoing low-grade community transmission, although few cases are still being presented to hospitals.

Over 29 persons have been reported dead in the state as a result of the disease, with several others hospitalised.

Akin Abayomi, the state health commissioner, disclosed this on Sunday while providing an update on the cholera outbreak following the “One Health” Inter-governmental agency strategic meeting held over the weekend. Abayomi said no new cholera-related deaths have been reported in the last 72 hours (as of Sunday evening), the government was intensifying counter-measures to eliminate transmission.

Abayomi noted that the reduction in new daily cases and the absence of new deaths indicated that interventions by the government were bearing dividends and that residents were adhering to public health information and advice on safety measures.

However, he reported that a small outbreak of 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis occurred at Kirikiri Medium Security Prison confirmed to be caused by cholera, adding that urgent medical and environmental intervention measures have been implemented with success.

“We were able to supply Kirikiri Medium Prison with intravenous fluids, infection prevention and other health consumables. Additionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals which have been delivered to the prison to support prison health facilities with prevention strategies for about 3,200 inmates if required. Immediate water and sanitation issues have been corrected and there are ongoing inspections of other correctional facilities in the state,” Abayomi said.

Addressing the source of the original outbreak two weeks ago, the commissioner said it has been traced to unregulated street beverages and contaminated water supply. He explained that many of the samples taken from popular street beverages purchased by undercover environmental officers from the Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and the Ministry of Health in the affected areas confirmed the presence of vibrio cholera bacteria, which is the cause of cholera.

“All of the containers had no NAFDAC accreditation numbers, indicating they are small cottage backyard informal production units. Identifying the precise location of manufacture has proven difficult and the directorate of environmental health is planning to seal any such unregulated manufacture and make arrests of anybody involved with the manufacture or distribution of beverages without NAFDAC numbers”, the commissioner added.

He noted that the state government through its interagency “One Health” approach was enforcing environmental health counter-measures in collaboration with Lagos Water Corporation, and sanitation agencies – (LAWMA and LASWAMO) to ensure widespread sanitation activities, inspection and disinfection of boreholes, supplying of potable water to affected local governments, and enforcement and stricter regulations on local beverage manufacturers.