• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Lagos sets up emergency operations as cholera kills 15

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

The Lagos State government has set up a public health emergency operations as a cholera outbreak tears through Lagos, claiming 15 lives and spreading suspected cases across 29 wards.

Akin Abayomi, commissioner for Health in a statement said a surveillance team confirmed 17 cases from a total of 350 suspected cases, 88 percent resulting in deaths.

Read also: Cholera looms in Plateau as residents resort to untreated water consumption

Abayomi said laboratory test results indicate that the outbreak is led by a sub type of cholera that causes severe disease.

This has led to new cases sprouting in areas that were previously unaffected, pushing the state Ministry of Health to open a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba.

“Cases are now subsiding in previously affected LGAs due to our interventions and surveillance efforts, however we are recording some new cases in previously unaffected LGAs, signaling the need for residents to adhere strictly to precautionary, personal, and environmental hygiene measures,” the Commissioner said.

Highlighting broader surveillance efforts, Abayomi said the state’s Directorate of Environmental Health and the Environmental Protection Agency have collected samples of water sources, food and beverage samples in all the affected LGAs, while inspections of facilities are ongoing.

The state has also embarked on the distribution of oral rehydration solutions (ORS), and public health education campaigns.

Abayomi urged residents to adhere to precautionary measures including community-wide sanitation activities to mitigate the spread of cholera, particularly as the Eid-al-Adha Muslim festivity holds.

Residents are advised to drink safe water, cook food thoroughly, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands regularly, use sanitiser, and avoid over crowded places.

They are equally urged to reporting symptoms like watery diarrhea or vomiting early to save lives and prevent spread to other members of the community.

Treatment for suspected cholera will be provided free of charge at all government facilities as part of governments public health response, the commissioner stated.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) issued an alert on Thursday, warning of an increasing trend in cholera cases across the country, due to the intensifying rainy season.

As of June 11, 2024, the NCDC confirmed 65 cholera cases from 1,141 suspected cases, and recorded 30 deaths across 96 local government areas (LGAs) in 30 states since January 1, 2024.

In its public advisory, the NCDC said 10 states constitute 90 percent of the burden of cholera including Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos States which recently reported an outbreak.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease, caused by the ingestion of the organism Vibrio cholerae in contaminated water and food.

Water is usually contaminated by the faeces of infected individuals. Contamination of drinking water can occur at the source, during transportation, or storage at home. Food may be contaminated by soiled hands, either during preparation or while eating.

At-risk populations include those with limited access to clean water, poor sanitation and hygiene, consumers of potentially contaminated food or fruits without proper washing and cooking, and healthcare workers providing direct patient care without standard precautions.