Ogun State government says the Cholera outbreak in the state has killed at least 12 persons out of about 246 cases recorded within the last one month.
The state health commissioner, Dr Tomi Coker, made this known on Wednesday while giving an update on the cholera outbreak shortly after a stakeholders’ engagement held at the ministry in Abeokuta.
The commissioner explained that the cholera outbreak was being fuelled by the common practice of open defecation, poor waste management and getting water from bad sources.
She said, “The cholera case is being fuelled by high open defecation, poor waste management, poor water source. People are defecating and that fickle material is going into shallow wells which is what we are using as our water source.
“In the meantime, families should please boil their water, ensure that they cover their water when it is in a container. Wash your hands before eating, wash your fruits, cook your food properly before consuming them and lastly ensure you dispose of your waste appropriately.
“Today, I urge each and every one of us to actively prioritise eye health in our professional lives. Remember that our eyes deserve care and attention just like any other part of our body.
“Unfortunately, we have a report of 246 cases and there have been at least about 12 deaths, which brings us to a fatality rate of 44.6 percent.
“This is slightly high for a state like ours because we are educated. And from what we found out, what’s actually promoting the cholera outbreak is the fact that there’s a high level of open defecation in Ogun State.
“It started in Ijebu North Local Government where we have 217 cases, but now we have more reports. We have some from Abeokuta North last week. We have two reports from Abeokuta South.”
To curtail the outbreak, Coker said the government had begun chlorinating wells in Ijebu North, the local government area worst hit by the disease.
He added that her ministry was also collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and other relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to contain the spread of the disease.
“It is unfortunate that our people still engage in open defecation, unaware that faecal materials enter shallow wells, which many of them use as water sources. For instance, in Ijebu-North Local Government, we found 52 shallow wells and microbiological testing revealed that 75 percent of these wells had evidence of faecal contamination with coliform bacteria.
The state government on September 17 alerted residents to the outbreak of Cholera in the Ijebu North Local Government Area of the state.
The epidemic later spread to Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South local government areas in the state capital.
SOURCE: Sahara Reporters