Cholera: Ogun curtailing spread, says Soyinka

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Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta

The government of the western Nigerian state of Ogun has allayed public fears on the incidence of cholera.

It said contrary to rumour making rounds that the Amosun-led administration was indifferent, government has been making concerted efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka at a press conference in Abeokuta today, said that some communities in Abeokuta North and South local government areas were identified as being the source, attributing it to poor environmental hygiene in the areas.

Soyinka stated that the sudden upsurge of gastroenteritis in some
communities in Abeokuta was first noticed on Friday, 5 July,2013 with
some severe cases reported at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, while the
State and local government officials swung into action immediately to
trace the source of the outbreak with the provision of life-saving
treatment for admitted patients.

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According to him, “At the State hospital, government mobilised
emergency supplies and provided free emergency care for patients
admitted with gastroenteritis. In the affected communities, awareness
activities commenced with the distribution of leaflets and
sensitization talks on causes and preventions of gastroenteritis and
local health workers were put on the alert”, Soyinka explained.

He further stated that officials of the State Water Board took
samples of the water being taken for testing. The tests confirmed high levels of germs associated with faecal contamination in the water.

“Although the majority of patients tested were shown not to be
suffering from Cholera, there were two confirmed cases at the time.
The measures taken have so far contained the outbreak which has now
subsided”, he stated.

The Commissioner said the outbreak was due to the poor faecal waste
management, urging members of the public to observe high levels of
personal and environmental hygiene by regular hand washing with soap
and clean water, boiling of drinking water, and cooking food
thoroughly.

“Pit toilets should be far away from sources of drinking water such as
wells. Blocked drains should be kept clean and local government
authorities should be informed of any major problems causing flooding
or overflow during rains”, Soyinka advised.