Cholera: Niger Govt Releases N25m, Dispatches Personnel To Halt Epidemic

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Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole
By; BALA  B. BITRUS, Minna
Concerted efforts as emergency measures are being deployed against further spread of cholera which has so far affected 120 persons and claimed no fewer than seven lives in four Local Government Areas of Niger state even as the government has released N25 million to procure relevant drugs for those affected and stem further spread of the disease.

Commissioner for Health and Health Services in the state, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Jibrin disclosed this to newsmen in Minna on Wednesday.

He disclosed that the diseases had hit and ravaged some communities in four Local Government Areas of the state with death toll of seven persons mostly children.
The councils affected include Lavun, where 21 cases were recorded. 15 cases in Gbako, 10 cases in Katcha while the highest number of 74 was recorded in Bida.

The state government according to the commissioner was doing everything to curb the spread of the disease. He said the N25 million provided by the state government was to be used for the purchase of the required drugs to fight the outbreak.

He further explained that efforts were on top gear on surveillance as team of medical doctors have been dispatched to susceptible places to fight the scourges.
The Commissioner of Health further explained that so far a total of 205 cases of gastroenteritis were reported in nine council areas of Agaie, Gurara, Lapai, Mokwa, Munya, Paikoro, Suleja, Tafa and Wushishi Local Government Areas of the state.

He said the “state government had sent a rapid response clinical team to assist in the management of the outbreak. In addition to this, another team has also been dispatched to the affected councils for an on-the-spot assessment and active case search” to nip in the bud any potential threat.

He said “Niger state was collaborating with the World Health Organisation, (WHO) and the United Nations International Children Education Fund, (UNICEF) to ensure an immediate end to the spread of the disease. He said experts were already taking samples from the patients and environments to confirm the causative organism”.

Dr. Jibrin further hinted that so far, twenty states in the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja have reported similar cholera outbreak this year with more than 6,850 cases and 97 deaths from the affected states including Niger.

The Commissioner who however called on Nigerlites to strictly observe good personal hygiene, cautioned against self medication or patronizing quacks and medicine vendors.

He said the best way to check the disease was to keep their environments clean even as he stressed that ‘prevention was always better than cure. He pointed out that any life lost cannot be regained’.

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