Cholera : Lagos records 15 fatalities: encourages basic hygiene practices

The Lagos State government has advised residents to drink safe water, cook food thoroughly, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands regularly, use sanitiser, and avoid over crowded places, as they celebrate the Ileya festival.

This followed the initial alert and advisory issued by the Lagos State Ministry of Health on the cholera outbreak.

The State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, made this known while speaking on steps taken to control the outbreak in Lagos State, noted that as it stands, 350 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in 29 wards across multiple LGAs in Lagos State with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities so far.

For this reason, residents are advised to report symptoms like watery diarrhea or vomiting immediately to prevent transmission to other members of the community to save lives as treatment for suspected cholera has been provided and it is free of charge at all government facilities as part of governments standard public health response”, he said.

However, the Lagos State Government has activated its Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos to address the increasing number of severe gastroenteritis cases across multiple Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State.

The laboratory investigation and test results have so far confirmed Cholera sub type O-1. This subtype is associated with more severe disease. The pattern of new cases per day varies across LGAs, according to our ongoing surveillance and monitoring updates.

“Although this is an increase from the numbers published 4 days ago, cases are now dramatically subsiding in previously affected LGAs due to our interventions and surveillance efforts, however we are recording some new cases in previously unaffected LGAs, signalling the need for residents to adhere strictly to precautionary, personal, and environmental hygiene measures,” the Commissioner said.

He added that “ The Directorate of Environmental Health of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency of the Ministry of Environment, have collected samples of water sources, food and beverage samples in all the affected LGAs, while inspections of facilities are ongoing.

“We are prepositioning cholera kits in health facilities across the State. Our efforts to control the outbreak also include the distribution of Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS), public health education campaigns,” he explained.

Prof. Akin Abayomi noted that a Lagos State Government Ministry of Health high-level team just concluded a meeting with the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Jide Idris, and his team as well as key partners from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure all interventions are optimized.

Abayomi urged residents to support the State Government’s efforts by adhering strictly to precautionary measures, cooperating with health authorities, and participating in community-wide sanitation activities to mitigate the spread of cholera, particularly as the Eid-al-Adha celebration approaches.

While acknowledging the leadership role being played by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, towards mitigating the outbreak, the Commissioner applauded the technical support being provided by national and international organizations, including the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF towards the response.

“The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Health with support from our partners, is intensifying efforts to control the outbreak. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide regular updates. Residents are advised to stay informed and adhere to public health advisories to ensure their safety and well-being during this period,” the Commissioner said.

Juliana Ekong

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