April 22, 2024

NCDC confirms eight deaths in Sokoto from mysterious outbreak

NCDC confirms eight deaths in Sokoto from mysterious outbreak

By Musa Ubandawaki Sokoto

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has so far confirmed 8 deaths and over 208 suspected new cases following an outbreak of a strange illness in Sokoto state.

Dr Ibrahim Usman, the manager of the center, said yesterday, at an interactive session with officials of the state Ministry of Health, that the incident happened in Sabon Birni and Isa Local Government Areas of the state.

He also said prompt measures were taken by the NCDC and the state government to control the spread of the yet-to-be identified disease as samples were taken to NCDC laboratories for analysis.

He stated that the illness manifested with symptoms of abdominal disorder, feverishness, vomiting, and sudden weight loss.

Recently, the state Deputy Governor Engineer, Idris Mohammed Gobir, told the visiting Minister of Health, Professor Ali Pate, at a courtesy call that the strange disease had killed many in Isa local government area of the state.

Gobir urged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, do the needful with a view to identifying and curtailing the continued spread of the disease to other areas of the state.

He said the state government has already dispatched team of experts with medicaments to ascertain the situation and provide first aid to victims who have contracted the illness. 

The NCDC has so far deployed a National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) to work with the Ministry of Health to further investigate the matter.

“All affected children were taken to Specialist Hospital Sokoto for treatment, and residents of the affected areas have been sensitised on the dangers of the strange illness and advised to report new cases promptly.”

The NCDC, which conveys emergency meeting, stated that the killer disease that now spreads has claimed lives, as 164 new cases were said to have been reported.

According to Dr Usman, the manager of the NCDC, the interim results show varying levels of lead and chromium in blood samples, prompting scrutiny of local activities such as mining and possible mingling with agrochemicals.

He pointed out that the collaborative efforts have extended beyond health institutions, encompassing government agencies, research bodies, and community stakeholders.

He appreciated the efforts of medical personnel towards containing the spread and treatment of affected victims who were still responding to treatments.

The executive secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SSPHCDA), Hajiya Larai Tambuwal, remarked that the complications were largely believed to stem from victim agricultural practices and other factors such as climatic conditions, security challenges, sources of drinking water, open defecation, malnutrition, and other surrounding issues.

“It’s not the first occurrence, as a similar case happened in Tureta Local Government Area, which was documented in 2023 without a conclusive diagnosis.” She advised for more clinical assessments to obtain the origin of the mysterious disease.