June 24, 2024

Cholera: Deploy health personnel for water testing — Laboratory Analysts


…Reported cases of 11 outbreaks inaccurate — Osun govt

…Govs warned against diverting PHCs fund

By Chioma Obinna & Shina Abubakar

LABORATORY analysts have expressed worry over the current cholera outbreak impacting Lagos and Ogun states, urging the governments at all levels to take immediate action to protect public health by deploying Public Analysts to conduct comprehensive water quality testing in the affected areas.

This came as the Osun State government, yesterday, insisted that the state is yet to record any incident of cholera.

The Laboratory analysts, under the auspices of the Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria, SoTLAN, blamed the deaths from the outbreak on inadequate public awareness of the remote and immediate causes, as well as the preventive measures, highlighting the critical need for immediate action to safeguard public health.

The President of the society, Olugbenga Ogunmoyela, in a statement, said it is only when such water and sanitation outlets have been properly sampled and tested, that directional measures can be taken to arrest the outbreak and prescribe future actions.

Ogunmoyela said: “To address this urgent public health crisis, therefore, SoTLAN hereby emphasises the importance of mobilizing Public Analysts to conduct thorough testing of water sources, including wells, boreholes, and municipal supplies (where available) in all the affected areas.

 ”Public Analysts in both public and private sectors possess the skills and expertise required to identify and mitigate such contamination or other pre-disposing factors.

“Their involvement is therefore crucial in guiding the ongoing discourse and implementation of remedial measures, including disinfection and provision of safe drinking water and public sensitization to the predisposing factors after analysis.

“SoTLAN is confident that with the proper engagement and support, these professionals can play a key role in containing the outbreak and preventing future occurrences.

“We urge the authorities to act promptly in commissioning Licensed Public Analysts and implementing necessary measures. Together, we can overcome this challenge and ensure the well-being of our communities.”

Reported cases of 11 outbreaks inaccurate —Osun govt

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Adeleke on Health Matters, Dr Adekunle Akindele, stated that the reported cases of 11 outbreaks were inaccurate.

Akindele, in a statement, said: “Osun State Government through the Ministry of Health has proactively reactivated and established the Public Health Rapid Response Team, PHRRT, and Cholera Technical Working Group, CTWG, respectively, to ensure adequate surveillance and risk communication activities to guarantee the health of the citizens.

“Though Osun is yet to record any confirmed case of Cholera, adequate preventive measures have been put in place to prevent the occurrence and respond to the outbreak in case we eventually record a case.

“13 sample(s) collected so far. All 13 samples sent to a laboratory, of which 13 (100%) were negative, 0 positive and no pending result,” he pointed out, adding that “Cholera RDT kits and Transport media has been strategically distributed to some Health Facilities across the 30 LGAs.”

Govs warned against diverting PHCs fund

Meanwhile, a former lawmaker in Osun State, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, yesterday, warned the State Governors in the country not to divert the money given to states by President Bola Tinubu for rehabilitation of primary healthcare centres across the country.

President Tinubu had released N260 billion to revitalise Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, across the country through the State Governors.

Oyintiloye, in a statement, said: “I commend the president for prioritising the health of Nigerians with the release of N260 billion to revitalise the dilapidated PHCs in the country. The only fear I have now is how this fund will not be diverted by the governors during this critical period of cholera outbreak.”