PRO/EAFR> Cholera – Nigeria (06): (Ogun) fatal

CHOLERA – NIGERIA (06): (OGUN) FATAL


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International Society for Infectious Diseases
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Date: Thu 19 Oct 2023
Source: Premium Times [edited] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/health/health-news/635245-cholera-outbreak-kills-12-in-ogun-as-govt-threatens-to-seal-houses-without-toilets.html

The Ogun State Government, South-west Nigeria, has confirmed that
within the last 30 days, 12 persons have died of cholera in the
state.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker, on Thursday [19 Oct
2023] said the 12 fatalities were recorded out of about 246 cases
recorded so far. Mrs Coker said this on the sideline of a
stakeholders’ engagement held at the ministry of health, in Abeokuta,
the state capital.

The government had in September [2023] alerted residents of the
outbreak of cholera disease in Ijebu North local government area [LGA] area of the state. Cases were later reported in both Abeokuta North
and Abeokuta South LGAs, which are located in the capital city of the
state.

Mrs Coker, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, noted that the cholera
outbreak is being fuelled by a “high level of open defecation, poor
waste management, and poor water source.”

“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%,” she
said.

“This is slightly high for a state like ours because we are educated.
And from what we found that’s actually promoting the cholera outbreak
is the fact that there is a high level of open defecation in the
state,” she said. “It started in Ijebu North LGA where we have 217
cases, but now we have more reports. We have some from Abeokuta North
last week. We have 2 reports from Abeokuta South.”

To curtail the outbreak, the commissioner said the government has
commenced chlorinating wells in Ijebu North LGA, the local government
worst hit by the disease. She added that her ministry is also
collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and other relevant
ministries, departments, and agencies to contain the spread of the
disease.

The commissioner, however, advised residents of the state to avoid
open defecation and to construct affordable toilets and sanitary wells
in their homes. She also warned that the government may seal houses
without toilets in the interest of public health.

The commissioner said: “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% 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.”

[Byline: Zainab Adewale]

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