June 17, 2024

Cholera: Identified strain highly aggressive, contagious in Lagos – Health commissioner


The Lagos State Government has warned that there’s an outbreak of cholera in the state and that “the identified strain is highly aggressive and contagious, with potential for widespread dissemination.”

The state commission for health, Prof Akin Abayomi, made this known on his Instagram page, @profakinabayomi, on Monday, providing an update on the cholera outbreak in the state.

Cholera is a highly contagious disease that results in severe diarrhoea in both children and adults. If left untreated, it can lead to death within a matter of hours.

Abayomi also disclosed that there are 17 confirmed cases out of 350 suspected cases and 15 deaths so far.

He wrote: “350 suspected cases of cholera were reported in 29 wards across multiple LGAs in Lagos State with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation.

“We are receiving support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and international partners, including the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund.

“Local Non-Governmental organisations are actively raising awareness and conducting community-based surveillance efforts.

“Suspected cases are receiving free treatment at our public health facilities, in line with public health response protocols,” he added.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a statement issued earlier, stated that recurrent cholera outbreaks in Nigeria are critically affecting children and the population at large.

Celine Lafoucrier, Chief of Lagos UNICEF Field Office, said that children faced substantial health risks, particularly those under five, who were prone to severe dehydration and a higher mortality rate.

It partly reads: “Addressing the challenges of cholera outbreaks requires a deliberate focus of state policies.

”And this include provision of high-standard water and sanitation facilities as well as strengthened healthcare systems capable of responding to demand in times of outbreaks.

”There should be campaigns on cholera prevention to protect children and the population at large,” she said.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, in an advisory, urged Nigerians to reduce the risk of cholera by ensuring that water is boiled and stored in a clean and covered container before drinking.

The Director-General of the centre, Dr Jide Idris, also urged people to practice good personal hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap under clean running water, ensure that food is well cooked before consumption, avoid open defecation, indiscriminate refuse dumping, ensure proper disposal of waste and frequent clearing of sewage among others.