By Chioma Obinna & Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos State Government has confirmed an outbreak of diarrhoea in the state, even as it confirmed two dead and 27 patients placed under surveillance.
The state government further disclosed that the disease was recorded in Shomolu, Oshodi-Isolo and Surulere Local Government Areas.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, and his counterpart from Ministry of Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, yesterday, confirmed the outbreak during a briefing at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
According to Idris, the upsurge was recorded in Shomolu Local Government on July 19; Oshodi-Isolo, July 20 and Surulere, July 21.
He stated that after the outbreak, 27 persons were placed under surveillance, but the number had reduced to 25, following death of two patients.
The Commissioner lamented that the death recorded was because the victims did not visit the nearest Primary Healthcare Centre or hospital to get treatments when the disease started.
Narrating how the disease occurred, Idris said: “In Shomolu, six cases were recorded, of which one died.
“In Oshodi-Isolo, two cases were recorded; while one is still alive, the other died at home. And in Surulere, 14 cases were reported. In this council, we have successfully managed it and no death recorded.
According to him, majority of the cases presented with typical diarrhoea and vomiting associated with cholera. This was the result of samples collected from patients.
Reason for outbreak
The commissioners hinted that suspected cause was their water source, which was contaminated with faecal matter from faulty septic tanks and soak-away in the community.
He stressed that due to persistent rainfall recorded within the communities, septic tanks became filled and flowed, contaminating their water source.
Idris disclosed that samples of well water from the community were collected and have been sent to Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory.
His words: “Food or water contamination is usually due to poor sanitation and the source of contamination is usually other cholera cases when infective watery stool gets into food or drinking water supplies.
“Prevention can be achieved through basic water sanitation.”
On how the government intended to prevent further spread, Idris said: “We have instituted measures towards quick containment and control of the outbreak.
“The medical directors of our General Hospitals have been placed on alert and fact sheets on Cholera forwarded to both public and private hospitals.
“Our community health workers, especially the Medical Officers of Health, Health Educators, Disease Surveillance/Notification Officers, Environmental Health Officers are in the community striving towards quick containment and control of spread of the disease.
“Chlorination of water supply has been intensified, awareness campaign is on-going and cases are being promptly diagnosed and appropriately managed in our hospitals.”