By CHIOMA OBINNA
As flood continues to ravage parts of the country, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, canvassed urgent intervention to avert outbreak of epidemics.
The medical doctors also called for judicious utilisation of relief funds for the speedy redressing of the identified health and social problems in the areas.
In its preliminary findings after a tour of some of the flood ravaged communities and states, President of the Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said they were alarmed at the possibility of epidemic outbreaks.
Proffering possible solutions to immediately prevent outbreaks of diseases, Enabulele stressed the need for effective education on personal and communal hygiene, particularly in the area of water purification measures.
His words: “In most of the communities visited there was poor waste disposal and inadequate toilet facilities while the underground wells, boreholes and surface water which are the sources of water in the flood ravaged communities, have been polluted.
“There was also the attendant risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, gastro-enteritis.
“In some of the camps there were outbreaks of diarrhoeal with some reported deaths of displaced persons, inadequate food supply with the attendant risk of development of protein-energy malnutrition.”
, particularly amongst Under-5 children.”
Calling for the provision of adequate sanitary toilets/waste disposal facilities, the NMA president, called for the establishment of immunisation posts in the camp clinics for routine immunization adding that vaccines should be administered against cerebrospinal meningitis and poliomyelitis in the affected communities.
Other recommendations he listed include; provision of adequate water and food supply, provision of adequate number of camp tents on household basis and provision of adequate numbers of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs),
Continuing, Enabulele further stressed the need to strengthen of existing camp clinics, especially with the provision of adequate number of personnel, provision of adequate medical services, as well as adequate drugs and investigative tools.
On the Relief Funds, the president commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on the recent appropriation of funds towards meeting the needs of the displaced persons and the receptive communities.
“The NMA calls for the judicious and accountable utilization of the Federal Government Relief Funds for the speedy address of the identified health and social problems.
“Similarly, we call on government at all levels to ensure that town planning and building codes are strictly adhered to. Government should also put in place appropriate measures to prevent a future re-occurrence.
“We fervently plead with government at all levels, well meaning Nigerians, corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations/Civil Society Organizations to assist in the relief efforts.”
He called all branches of the NMA in States ravaged by the floods to robustly liaise with their State Governments to maximise the utilisation of the Camp Clinics, particularly in the area of administration of medical care to the displaced persons.