Cholera Kills 20 In Ebonyi
The Director Public Health and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health, Ebonyi State, Dr Chris Achi, yesterday confirmed the death of 20 people in seven Local Government Areas of the State following an outbreak of cholera in the state.
Speaking to journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, Dr. Achi said that the Local Government Areas, where the outbreak is destroying the communities include, Ohaukwu, Izzi, Ezza North, Ishielu, Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Ohaozara local government areas of the State, Leadership reports.
According to Dr. Achi, ten students of Ebonyi State University were affected by the outbreak, adding that out of the ten affected, one person has been confirmed dead while the nine others were rushed to the hospital. They were treated by medical experts and have been discharged.
Dr. Achi also stated that apart from the University undergraduates who were affected by the outbreak, 15 students of the Girls High School, Azuinyiokwu, were also affected and were rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, where they were treated and discharged.
He stated that students of 12 Apostle School, Sharon and Annunciation School, Saint Patricks Church, Kpirikpiri, Abakaliki were also affected, adding that those who died as a result of the outbreak were those who resorted to self-medication.
The health practitioner stated that those who died in the hospital were those who had renal breakdown and their case confirmed critical. He encouraged residents of the State to desist from defecating indiscriminately around their environment and waterways.
Dr. Achi said that since February this year, when the first case was recorded, there has been a sporadic outbreak of the disease in the State and regretted that ponds, where citizens of the state, including animals, access drinking water are in very poor condition.
However, Dr. Achi noted that the state government is doing enough in combating the disease and urged the citizens to assist the government by reporting such cases rather than resorting to self-medication.
He said; “Some of the community members have boreholes and when some of the boreholes breakdown, the people, rather than repair it, resort to pond water. Hawkers will display Suya along the road and flies perch on them and people patronize them without considering the health implication. In Abakaliki, most houses do not have toilet facilities and people defecate around the houses. This leads to disease outbreak because the same flies that perch on the faeces also perch on foods”.
Cholera caused by Vibrio cholera continues to be a global threat to public health and a key indicator of lack of social development. It is endemic in Africa, parts of Asia, the Middle East, and South and Central America.
In Nigeria, the infection is endemic and outbreaks are not unusual. In the last quarter of 2009, it was speculated that more than 260 people died of cholera in four Northern states with over 96 people in Maidugari, Biu, Gwoza, Dikwa and Jere council areas of Bauchi state.