Eight persons have been confirmed dead as diarrhoea outbreak hit five Local Government Areas in Kogi State.
The reporter gathered that 66 persons have been affected in the areas, while the State have recorded 129 cases.
The Kogi State Epidemiologist, Dr Austin Ojotule confirmed this in a statement issued to our correspondent on Wednesday on behalf of the State Commissioner for Health Saka Audu.
The affected Local Government areas according to the statement include Kogi, Bassa, Lokoja, Ankpa and Kabba Bunu.
The statement reads in part “It has become very important for us as a Ministry to brief the press on the outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting suspected to be cholera in some Local Government Areas of the State in recent time.
“Seven communities were affected in the aforementioned LGAs with 129 cases. However we were able to confirm cholera in three of the communities in Kogi, Lokoja and Ankpa LGAs with 66 persons affected and 8 deaths. These are Border Communities with hard to reach terrains.
“It is important to mention at this point that most of the deaths have occurred before the reports got to the Local government/state authorities. Our findings also revealed that majority of the deaths in all the outbreaks occurred at home.
“In all the cases, the State Ministry of Health has supported the outbreak response with response commodities and technical support. The state is working closely with the local government to avert further outbreaks by strengthening and sustaining community sensitization and mobilization.
“This is to ensure that Communities adopted health safety measures such as good personal and environmental hygiene, washing of hands with soap and water after visiting the toilet, avoid open defecation, boiling of drinking waters and proper cooking and handling of food and vegetables before eating as these measures are very key in preventing diarrhoea diseases. People with diarrhoea and vomiting are encouraged to visit the nearest health facility as soon as they notice symptoms”.
Ojotule added that Government will continue to collaborate with critical stakeholders and partners to ensure that no single individual died of preventable disease in the State.
He averred that Government will work with relevant agencies to ensure the provision of portable water in communities within the state and to ensure that diarrhoea was reduced to the barest minimum in Kogi State.