New Telegraph

12 Dead As Ogun Records 246 Cases Of Cholera

The Cholera outbreak has killed at least 12 persons in the last month in Ogun State.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker confirmed the development to journalists while giving an update on the cholera outbreak, shortly after a stakeholders’ engagement held at the ministry, in Abeokuta.

Coker said the state recorded 246 cases of cholera outbreak in the last one month.

She said the cases were recorded in Ijebu North, Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South Local government areas of the state.

The state government had, on September 17, alerted residents of the outbreak of Cholera, locally referred to as ‘Aarun òní gbá méjì’, in the Ijebu North Local Government Area of the state.

Coker, a UK-trained Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, explained that the cholera outbreak is being fuelled by “high level of open defecation, poor waste management and poor water source.”

She said “Unfortunately, we have a report of 246 cases and there have been at least about 12 deaths, which brings us to a fatality rate of 44.6 per cent.

“This is slightly high for a state like ours because we are educated. And from what we found out what’s actually promoting the cholera outbreak is the fact that there’s a high level of open defecation in Ogun State.

“It started in Ijebu North Local Government where we have 217 cases, but now we have more reports. We had some from Abeokuta North last week. We have two reports from Abeokuta South.”

To curtail the outbreak, Coker said the government has begun chlorinating wells in Ijebu North, the LG worst hit by the disease.

She said her Ministry of Health, is also collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and other relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to contain the spread of the disease.

“It is unfortunate that our people still engage in open defecation, unaware that faecal materials enter shallow wells, which many of them use as water sources. For instance, in Ijebu-North Local Government, we found 52 shallow wells and microbiological testing revealed that 75 per cent of these wells had evidence of faecal contamination with coliform bacteria.

“We will work with our colleagues in the Environment Ministry to ensure sanitation, promote the use of appropriate sanitary facilities in homes, and construct sanitary wells. These wells should be well-built and less likely to be contaminated by faecal material, especially during the period of incessant rainfall and flooding, which washes faecal material into our water sources”, she explained.

Coker advised residents of the State to avoid open defecation, construct affordable toilets and sanitary wells in their homes, and warning that the government may seal houses without toilets in the interest of public health.

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