Cholera has killed sixteen persons, out of 306 cases of the disease in Nassarawa state, according to the Health Ministry.
This was made known in Lafia, the state capital, when a team of health experts from the Federal Ministry of Health donated drugs to the state government to checkmate the spread of the disease.
The first case of cholera outbreak in the State was reported in September 2013, while the disease have been detected in six local governments areas, namely; Akwanga, Wamba, Lafia, Awe, Obi and Karu local government areas.
Donating the drugs on behalf of the Federal Government yesterday in Lafia, the Chief Consultant Epediomologist in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Akin Oyemakinde said that the donation of the drugs was part of the Federal Government intervention to curb the further spread of cholera and Lasa Fever in Nasarawa State.
Dr. Oyemakinde who led a rapid response and investigation team from the Federal Ministry of Health to the State explained that the team was in the State to halt further spread of the diseases to other parts of the State and adjoining states.
He also said that the team is in the state to assess the response to the cholera outbreak, ascertain the level of preparedness of the State to respond to the disease as well as step up surveillance.
He said that part of the team’s assignment was to support the State to improve preparedness and response to further cholera outbreak.
While reiterating the need to mobilize the people particularly local communities on the dangers of cholera, he charged the State government to intensify surveillance activities, provide better access to good quality water to the people as well as provide information on sanitation, hygiene and food preparation practices.
Also speaking, Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Health, Fatai Oyediran said that the ministry recently trained about 100 Health personnel including Disease Surveillance Notification Officers (DSNOs) and Local Immunization Officers (LIOs) particularly in the case of lasa fever detection, adding that the training was to acquaint clinicians and nurses with rapid response techniques as well as to increase surveillance and detection of lasa fever outbreak.
Responding, the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe who received the drugs on behalf of the State government thanked the Federal Government, describing the donation as a kind gesture which will go a long way to stem the tide of cholera and lasa fever infection in the state.
He disclosed that the Nasarawa state government is collaborating with a United States of America Organization to establish a laboratory for lasa fever and Avian influenza detection which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to that effect. He added that equipment and structures are already in place for the take off. [Vanguard]