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Politics

High Alert As Ogun Confirms 25 Cases Of Cholera Disease

cholera outbreak

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The Ogun state government has cautioned residents as it officially reported 25 cases of Cholera across seven local government areas in the state.

One person, according to the government, died recently in the Ijebu North local government in the Ogun East Senatorial district.

The state commissioner for health, Dr. Tomi Coker, disclosed this information in Abeokuta, the state capital, during a press conference at the Olusegun Osoba press centre.

She mentioned that comprehensive surveillance and emergency medical care have been initiated in all 20 local government areas of the state.

The areas most affected by the outbreak were identified as Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Obafemi/Owode, Ijebu North, Ado, and Odo/OTA local government areas.

While ensuring the public of the state government’s and its partners’ readiness, she urged residents to uphold good personal and public hygiene practices to curb the spread of the disease.

“The Ogun State Government is cognisant of these threats hence we are at all times prepared for outbreaks and other Diseases of public health importance.

Our robust preparedness and our resolve to protect the lives and health of all residents have helped minimise the impact of the Cholera Outbreak in the state in comparison to many other states in Nigeria.

“At the inception, we received the alert on June 12th, 2024, about the first 2 cases. Both cases tested positive with a Cholera rapid diagnostic kit and were managed at the State Hospital, Ota.

“The 2 cases had travel history to Lagos state 24hrs before presentation, as of today, 24th, June 2024, the Ogun state has recorded 25 suspected cases of Cholera in 7 LGAs, namely, Adoodo/Ota, Remo North, Odeda, Sagamu, Ijebu North, Ewekoro, and Obafemi Owode, with 9 confirmed case and unfortunately, 1 death.

“Consequent upon these findings, it is imperative to declare an ongoing Cholera Outbreak in Ogun State.

“Before this outbreak, as part of the state preparedness, a robust surveillance system was in place in all 20 local government authorities, which ensured prompt detection of cases.

“The initial 8 cases originated from Lagos state, the reported epicentre of the Cholera outbreak and a state that shares a border with 4 of our local governments. The 8 cases had travel history to Lagos and 6 of them reported taking tiger nut drink while in Lagos. Furthermore, we also promptly diagnosed cholera in 5 of the contacts of the patients with a travel history to Lagos State,” Coker noted in the press release on Monday.

In response to the situation, she mentioned that the state’s Epidemiology team is on heightened alert and that every Local Government Area (LGA) Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer has also ramped up their monitoring efforts throughout all 20 LGAs.

The statement added: “Our private health facilities and citizens have been sensitized to heighten their index of suspicion and report any suspected case immediately to the LGA DSNO, and the State response Team by calling the following phone numbers 08038642812, 07034214893, and 08084250881.

“All our 20 LGAs have trained rapid-response teams ready to respond to your call at short notice in collaboration with Ogun State Emergency and Ambulance Service.

“Also, cholera test kits and other consumables needed for treatment have been distributed to all LGAs and designated treatment centres to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment. The treatment of Cholera is free across all government facilities in Ogun State.

“Ogun State Ministry of Health is coordinating this outbreak response in collaboration with stakeholders from the Ministry of Environment, Information, and Education, WES at the LGA (water, environment, and sanitation), RUWATSAN (Rural water and sanitation), Water cooperation, Private hospital owners, Emergency services (OGSAES) and partners.

“The Emergency Operations Centre was activated earlier and is now in the response mode, tracking evolving situations and acting accordingly. Each ministry’s Departments and agencies involved in the response are carrying out its statutory responsibilities to curtail and control the outbreak. The Ministry of Environment and LGA Waste and Environmental Sanitation department is carrying out activities to curb open defecation and improve environmental hygiene.”

According to Coker, Cholera sensitisation materials are being shared via all electronic platforms, including social media, Radio, and Television. The Ministry of Information and the risk communication pillar of the EOC are working hard to engage the public on prevention practices, good hygiene, and sanitation.

“Medications and essential consumables have been prepositioned at LGAs and other strategic health facilities to provide hitch-free, quality treatment that is free in all government health facilities.

“Some of its LGAs have been identified as high-risk LGAs and hotspots in Ogun state, these are Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ijebu North, Obafemi Owode, Ifo, and Adoodo Ota.

“As a way of warning, the Risk factors for cholera include eating contaminated food and drink, unhygienic sanitary conditions, and poor personal hygiene,” She added.

Naijaonpoint reports that symptoms of Cholera include diarrhoea, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.

Cholera can lead to intense, watery diarrhoea that can be fatal within hours without proper treatment. Symptoms can appear between 12 hours and 5 days after exposure.

To prevent and control Cholera, a comprehensive strategy is necessary, involving monitoring, access to safe water, sanitation, hygiene practices, community engagement, medical care, and the administration of oral cholera vaccines.

However, she emphasized the importance of maintaining high standards of personal and environmental cleanliness among the community members.

“Our Expectation from the public is Proper personal hygiene ( particularly Hand Hygiene), Washing food/fruits/vegetables properly before eating, Drink only clean water (Boil if the source is not trusted), Discourage Open defaecation, cook food thoroughly, go to the nearest health facility if you pass watery stool more than twice within 8 hours and report any suspected case in your locality. Please call the following phone numbers 08038642812, 07034214893, and 08084250881,” she added.

Naijaonpoint reports that the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Ogun State, Kunle Ashimi, highlighted the extensive reach of cholera in a press release issued on Thursday, noting its presence in 30 states nationwide, including Ogun.

Meanwhile, Kemi Ogunyemi, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, reported that the death toll from the cholera outbreak in the state has climbed to 24, with 350 suspected cases.

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