Cholera outbreak hits Lagos, 5 die, 60 hospitalised - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Cholera outbreak hits Lagos, 5 die, 60 hospitalised

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has issued an alert on the outbreak of cholera in the state, with five confirmed dead and 60 hospitalised as a result of the disease.  

The  State government has therefore enjoined Lagosians to report suspected cases via the following emergency hotlines: 08023169485, 08137412348, or by using helplines 767 or 112.

Abayomi, who confirmed this in a press statement, said 
Surveillance reports reaching his desk in the Ministry of Health showed that cholera cases have been reported in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu, and Kosofe LGA, resulting in about 60 hospital admissions, and five deaths, mainly from patients presenting late with extreme dehydration.

He called for heightened vigilance and the adoption of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. 

He said: “We have activated a statewide heightened surveillance and response. The Ministry of Health Directorate of Environmental Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have been alerted to investigate a possible water contamination source in the Lekki Victoria Island axis. We suspect a possible cholera outbreak; however, samples have been taken for confirmation. 

“As of April 28, 2024, Nigeria reported 815 suspected cholera cases and 14 deaths across 25 states.”

Abayomi noted that following recent rains, Lagos State has seen a notable increase in cases of severe vomiting and watery stools, adding that urban slums and crowded areas with poor sanitation are particularly at risk.

He explained that cholera is a highly contagious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and can be life-threatening. It poses a significant health burden in poor water treatment and sanitation areas and could impact Lagos State.

“Cholera spreads through direct transmission by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and indirect transmission due to poor sanitation and a lack of handwashing. Symptoms of cholera include severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid dehydration, muscle cramps, fever, and sometimes collapse,” he said.

According to him, treatment options for cholera include rehydration using Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) for mild to moderate dehydration. Intravenous fluids are used for severely dehydrated patients and are given only in medical facilities and supervised by medical personnel.

“To prevent cholera, citizens are urged to ensure safe drinking water by boiling, chlorinating, or using bottled water, and avoiding ice products made from untreated water. Maintaining proper sanitation by using toilets, safely disposing of faeces, and avoiding open defecation is crucial.

“Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially before eating, preparing food, and after using the toilet, are essential,, as well as following food safety guidelines,” the Commissioner advised.

He enjoined citizens to rely on the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and accredited local health facilities for guidance, advice, and updates on prevention, treatment, and management.

While emphasizing the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene and taking proactive measures to prevent cholera outbreaks, Professor Abayomi promised to keep the public informed and restated the commitment of the government of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensuring the health and well-being of its citizens. 

He urged Lagosians to adopt preventive measures and report any suspected cases promptly to safeguard our communities.

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