By Peter Duru
MAKURDI â€”Â There has been a reported outbreak of diarrhoea in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State with well over 256 infants already infected by the scourge.
Vanguard gathered from sources in the council area that the disease broke out few weeks ago and the devastation has been overwhelming in the affected communities where the outbreak has been reported so far.
Investigations also revealed that no death has been recorded in the area largely because the situation was saved by the quick intervention of the UNICEF and the Benue State Ministry of Health who dispatched large quantities of Zinc Fort and Oral Re-Hydration Solution, ORS, to be administered on the affected infants.
According to Mrs. Rachael Tyozhungul, Nutrition Officer at the Benue State Ministry of Health, it took the swift intervention of UNICEF and the state government to arrest the outbreak.
She said when the news of the outbreak got to the Ministry of Heath in Makurdi, large quantities of ORS and Zinc Fort, the new drug in the treatment of diarrhoea, were dispatched to the Nutrition Focal Person, NFP, in the area for free prescription and administration on the affected children.
She emphasized that the move saved what would have resulted into a devastation, especially amongst infants in the communities.
Tyozhungu said: â€œThe interventionist measures which saw the free distribution of Zinc fort and ORS to the affected persons, to a large extent saved what would have resulted to a devastation especially among infants who were the hardest hit by the epidemicâ€.
She further informed that the situation had been brought under control, adding that the affected were responding to treatment while free drugs were availed families of the affected in order to ensure their full recovery.
Speaking to Vanguard, a 25-year-old Mrs. Erdoo Manger who said she almost lost her six-month-old baby to the epidemic, lauded UNICEF and the State Ministry of Health for their quick intervention and free distribution of ORS and Zinc Fort.
She said hundreds of babies would have been lost to the epidemic but for the free drugs and the effective monitoring of its distribution among affected families.