The Ekiti State Government has raised an alarm to alert residents following the five suspected cases of cholera recorded in the Moba Local Government Area of the state.
This is contained in a statement by the state Commissioner for Health and Human Services , Dr Oyebanji Filani, who highlighted the possibility of an outbreak of the disease in some other local governments.
THE PRESS STATEMENT
Following outbreaks of cholera in 28 States of the Federation, the Ekiti State Ministry of health heightened cholera surveillance to pick up early, on any suspected cases, in view of mitigating an outbreak. The Government of Ekiti State hereby wishes to alert the general public of a possible outbreak of cholera in some Local Government Areas of the State.
On the 19th of September 2021, five (5) suspected cases of cholera were reported in Moba Local Government Area of the State. These cases were picked up by community informants and reported to the LGA health authorities who in turn reported to the State Ministry of health for proper investigation.
Given the risk of this outbreak escalating rapidly across the State, the Ministry of Health has commenced active case finding across all LGAs in the State. State surveillance teams have been deployed to support the outbreak response at the LGA level. These teams are actively searching for and investigating suspected cases in health facilities, informal treatment centres and within communities. This is in line with earlier developed emergency operations plan to tackle a possible cholera outbreak in the State. The State is also leveraging the capacity that has been built during the COVID-19 response. This capacity includes the existing LGA and State EOCs, laboratory services, health workers and treatment centres among others.
Considering the link between cholera, water, sanitation and hygiene, a multi-sectoral team comprising the State Ministries of Environment and Public Utilities has been set up with a meeting held among the Ministries’ Commissioners on the 23rd of September 2021. This multi-sectoral team will support LGAs to ensure a coordinated and effective response to the possible outbreak. This includes the provision of medical and laboratory supplies for case detection and management, rapid scale-up of risk communications and WASH activities amongst other activities.
Cholera is a preventable and treatable epidemic-prone disease that is transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The number of cholera cases tends to increase during the rainy season and the risk of death from cholera is very high when treatment is delayed. Hence, it is very important to visit a health facility if symptoms of cholera such as watery diarrhoea and vomiting are observed.
The State Government urges members of the public to be aware of the risk of the disease and adhere to the following preventive measures:
Boil and store water in a clean and safe container before drinking.
Prepare, cook and store food safely.
Wash hands frequently with soap under clean running water especially after defecation and before handling food or eating.
Avoid open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping.
Visit a health facility immediately, if symptoms of cholera such as watery diarrhoea and vomiting are observed.
Notify the health authorities in your community if you know someone with the above-mentioned symptoms.
Healthcare workers are hereby directed to maintain a high index of suspicion for cholera while consistently observing standard protocols for infection prevention and control.
The State Government remains committed to improving access to clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene, which is a critical measure to prevent cholera outbreaks, and we urge everyone to take personal responsibility to mitigate the spread of this disease within their communities.
Dr Oyebanji Filani
Honourable Commissioner for Health and Human Services