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Public Health: Lagos, Ogun alert residents to ‘highly aggressive, contagious’ strain of cholera

Photo: LASG

*Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, discloses a recent laboratory investigation has confirmed the strain to be Cholera Sub-Type O-1, explaining the subtype is associated with ‘more severe diseases’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In a move to alert the residents to an evolving public health issue along with certain precautionary measures, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has announced the strain of cholera in the state is highly aggressive and contagious.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Akin Abayomi, Honourable Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, stated this via his verified X account Monday, June 17, 2024.

The Commissioner, after confirming the outbreak in the cosmopolitan state and economic hub of Nigeria, described the identified strain as “highly aggressive and contagious, with potential for widespread dissemination”.

Prof. Akin Abayomi, Honourable Commissioner for Health in Lagos State

Reports indicated the Lagos State had recorded 17 confirmed cases of strain of cholera, and 15 fatalities since its outbreak in the state.

Prof. Abayomi also disclosed a laboratory investigation has confirmed the strain to be cholera sub-type O-1, explaining that the subtype is associated with more severe diseases.

According to him, through community-based case finding and contact tracing, the government observed that the number of cases “has peaked, and is now significantly declining.”

The Commissioner for Health said: “The geographical distribution of suspected cases by Local Government Area showed that Lagos Island is the epicentre of the outbreak with 106 cases, followed by Kosofe with 49; Eti-Osa with 38; Lagos Mainland with 30; and Ojo with 17.”

He equally listed others as “Ikorodu with 16; Shomolu with 11; Surulere with nine; Apapa with eight; Mushin with eight; Ifako Ijaiye with eight; Alimosho with four; Ajeromi-Ifelodun with four; Oshodi-Isolo with three; Ikeja with three; Ibeju Lekki with two; Badagry with two; and Amuwo-Odofin with one.”

Abayomi further stated: “We are receiving support from the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) and international partners, including the WHO Nigeria and UNICEF Nigeria.

“Local non-governmental organisations are actively involved in raising awareness and conducting community-based surveillance efforts.”

Ogun reels off protective measures against disease among residents

In a related development, in view of the recent cholera outbreak in 30 states of the Federation, including the neighbouring ‘Gateway State’, the Ogun State Government (OGSG) has rolled out precautionary measures.

Kayode Akinmade, Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, stated that the governor was concerned about the development and the need to protect the people, considering the proximity of Ogun State to Lagos, and the degree of interactions between the two states in the South-West region of the country.

The Media and Strategy aide to the governor, in a statement, also noted that precautionary measures, including the following, have been put in place.

He noted these include: “All houses MUST have toilets. Each house without a toilet should identify a room to be converted to a toilet. Residents are given three to six months of grace for compliance.

“All petrol stations MUST have functional public toilets with running water as part of their corporate social responsibilities. All garages and parks MUST have functional toilets with running water.”

Akinmade stated: “All markets MUST have functional public toilets with running water. Mechanic villages MUST have functional toilets with running water. All schools (public and private) should have public toilets with running water.”

Besides these measures, the Ogun State Government said the residents of the state were advised to take some measures as a way of protecting themselves against the disease.

He said: “Drink safe water that is boiled or chlorinated; wash your hands with soap and water after visiting the toilet and before handling food; wash fruits and vegetables properly with safe water before eating and for preparing food; cook food properly.

“Buy and eat only hot food; use water from reliable sources, among other precautions.”

Akinmade added the state’s Ministry of Environment would ensure strict compliance with all the measures, warning that violators would be sanctioned accordingly.

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