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Monday, July 15, 2024

Cholera: Situation worsens in Lagos as deaths rise to 21

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The Lagos State Government has announced an increase in suspected cholera cases from 350 to 401 and deaths from 15 to 21 in one week.

The Special Adviser on Health to the Lagos State Governor, Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, noting that Lagos Island, Kosofe and Eti Osa recorded the highest number of cases.

The statement was signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

According to the statement, Mrs. Ogunyemi said the increase in cholera cases was anticipated following the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, during which large gatherings took place.

However, he noted that suspected cases are declining in all LGAs, particularly previously affected LGAs, due to government interventions and surveillance efforts.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, had on Monday hinted that the identified strain of cholera is very aggressive and contagious, with significant potential for spread and aggravated by the rainy season.

Cholera is a highly contagious disease transmitted by food and water. It spreads by direct transmission through eating or drinking contaminated food or water and by indirect transmission due to poor sanitary conditions and lack of handwashing.

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Symptoms of cholera include sudden onset of acute, painless, watery diarrhea, with or without vomiting. It may be associated with nausea, profuse vomiting, and fever.

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Mrs. Ogunyemi further noted that the government, through the Ministry of Health and other sister agencies, is maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programs to curb the spread.

It noted: “The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, continues to collect samples from water, food and beverage sources to identify the source of contamination.

“We have also intensified our surveillance activities in the communities, particularly in the affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education, to ensure that all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and students upon their return. However, residents should remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera.”

He advised citizens to seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise and fever, noting that cholera treatment is free in all public health facilities.

Mrs Ogunyemi acknowledged the support of local, national and international partners, including UNICEF, WHO, NCDC, NIMR, Red Cross and others, in the fight against the outbreak.

READ ALSO: Cholera outbreak: Lagos provides update on rising deaths and infections

“Our gratitude is also extended to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, environmental health officers, Water Corporation officials, surveillance officers, agency heads, PHEOC members and volunteers who work around the clock. of the day to combat the disease. and keep Lagos safe,” he said.

Cholera prevention

The NCDC noted in its latest advisory that cholera can be prevented by ensuring access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and waste disposal, as well as proper hygiene, including handwashing.

He noted that raw fruits and vegetables, street vendor foods, and raw or undercooked seafood should be avoided.

To reduce the risk of cholera, the NCDC advised the public to “ensure that water is boiled and stored in a clean, covered container before drinking it, and practice good personal hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water.” clean current.

“Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and clean water are not available. Make sure food is thoroughly cooked before eating. “Only eat raw foods, such as fruits and vegetables, after washing them thoroughly with drinking water.”

He also discouraged open defecation and indiscriminate dumping of garbage. He urged residents to ensure proper disposal of waste and frequent cleaning of sewage.

“If you or someone you know experiences sudden watery diarrhea, do not self-medicate; Visit a healthcare facility immediately,” he noted.

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