The government of Ogun State has allayed public fears on the incidence of cholera.
According to the government, contrary to rumour making rounds that the Amosun-led administration was indifferent, government has been making concerted efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Abeokuta, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka said that some communities in Abeokuta North and South local government areas were identified as being the source, attributing it to poor environmental hygiene in the areas.
Soyinka stated that the sudden upsurge of gastroenteritis in some communities in Abeokuta was first noticed on Friday, 5 July,2013 with some severe cases reported at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, while the
State and local government officials swung into action immediately to trace the source of the outbreak with the provision of life-saving treatment for admitted patients.
“At the State hospital, government mobilised emergency supplies and provided free emergency care for patients admitted with gastroenteritis. In the affected communities, awareness activities commenced with the distribution of leaflets and sensitization talks on causes and prevention of gastroenteritis and local health workers were put on the alert”, Soyinka explained.
He further stated that officials of the State Water Board took samples of the water being taken for testing. The tests confirmed high levels of germs associated with faecal contamination in the water.
“Although the majority of patients tested were shown not to be suffering from Cholera, there were two confirmed cases at the time. The measures taken have so far contained the outbreak which has now
subsided”, he stated.
The Commissioner said the outbreak was due to the poor faecal waste management, urging members of the public to observe high levels of personal and environmental hygiene by regular hand washing with soap
and clean water, boiling of drinking water, and cooking food thoroughly.
“Pit toilets should be far away from sources of drinking water such as wells. Blocked drains should be kept clean and local government authorities should be informed of any major problems causing flooding
or overflow during rains”, Soyinka advised.