12 die, 236 cases recorded as Cholera hits Ogun - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, October 19, 2023

12 die, 236 cases recorded as Cholera hits Ogun

By Demilade Michael

About 12 people have lost their lives to cholera outbreak in Ogun State in the last one month.

Vanguard reliable gathered that the state government had, on September 17, alerted residents of the State on the outbreak of the disease in Ijebu North local government area of the State, which later spread to Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South council areas.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who confirmed the cholera outbreak, said 236 cases have been recorded so far, while 12 fatalities recorded.

Coker, who disclosed this while giving an update on the cholera outbreak shortly after a stakeholders' engagement held in Abeokuta, explained that the cholera outbreak is being fuelled by "high level of open defecation, poor waste management and poor water source."

She said, "unfortunately, we have a report of 246 cases and there has been at least about 12 deaths, which brings us to 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 that's actually promoting the cholera outbreak is the fact that there's high level of open defecation in the 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 has begun chlorinating wells in Ijebu North, the local government worst hit by the disease.

She said the Ministry of Health, is 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 fecal 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 fecal contamination with coliform bacteria.

"We will work with our colleagues in the Environment Ministry to ensure sanitation, promote the use of appropriate sanitary facilities in homes, and construct sanitary wells. These wells should be well-built and less likely to be contaminated by fecal material, especially during the period of incessant rainfall and flooding, which washes fecal material into our water sources", she explained.

While pointing out that the key to eliminating cholera is adopting a multi-sectoral strategy, she added that officials from the State Public Health Department are educating residents on essential hygiene practices to prevent cholera.

Coker advised residents of the State to avoid open defecation, construct affordable toilets and sanitary wells in their homes, and warning that the government may seal houses without toilets in the interest of public health.

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