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Cholera outbreak hits Katsina, Kirikiri Correctional Centre

The NCoS spokesman, Abubakar Umar, speaking earlier with journalists said that the routine hygienic measures put in place in the correctional centres had helped to keep cholera out.

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Cholera outbreak hits Katsina, Kirikiri Correctional Centre

The Lagos State Ministry of Health has announced that 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis, confirmed to be caused by cholera, were reported at Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.

The state Commissioner of Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on Sunday.

The development was against the claim by the Nigerian Correctional Service on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, that the custodial centres nationwide were free of cholera.

The NCoS spokesman, Abubakar Umar, speaking earlier with journalists said that the routine hygienic measures put in place in the correctional centres had helped to keep cholera out.

READ ALSO:Cholera outbreak hits Ogun, claims life of 62-year-old woman

However, in a statement on Sunday, signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the commissioner reported “a small outbreak of 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis confirmed to be caused by cholera.”

He said urgent medical and environmental measures had been implemented successfully.

Furthermore, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also recorded 118 suspected cholera cases in Katsina State.

Available data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showed as of June 24, 2024, there were 1,528 suspected cholera cases, 65 confirmed cases and 53 deaths across 107 local government areas in 31 states, reflecting a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent since the beginning of the year.

The most affected states were Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos.

To combat the spread, President Bola Tinubu approved the establishment of a multi-sectoral cabinet committee on the control of the epidemic, headed by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Ali Pate.

Speaking on the Lagos outbreak, Abayomi, at the update on the cholera outbreak at the weekend, said no new cholera-related deaths had been reported in the last 72 hours, as the government kept intensifying countermeasures to eliminate transmission.

He confirmed ongoing low-grade community transmission, as the new daily cases and deaths reduced.

He, however, noted that interventions were bearing dividends as residents were adhering to public health information and advice on safety measures and the need for early presentation to health facilities when symptoms developed.

On the Kirikiri incident, Abayomi said, “We supplied Kirikiri medium prison with intravenous fluids, infection prevention, and other health consumables.

“Additionally, the World Health Organisation donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals already delivered to the prison to support prison health facilities with prevention strategies for about 3,200 inmates, if required.

“Immediate water and sanitation issues have been corrected and there are ongoing inspections of other correctional facilities in the state.”

Addressing the source of the original outbreak two weeks ago, Abayomi said it had been traced to unregulated street beverages and contaminated water supply.

He said many samples taken from popular street beverages purchased by undercover environmental officers from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health in the affected areas confirmed the presence of vibrio cholera bacteria, which is the cause of cholera.

“All the containers had no NAFDAC accreditation numbers, indicating they are small cottage backyard informal production units.

“Identifying the precise location of manufacture has proven difficult and the directorate of environmental health is planning to seal any such unregulated manufacture and make arrests of anybody involved with the manufacture or distribution of beverages without NAFDAC numbers,” Abayomi said.

The commissioner said there was no need for the public to panic and expressed optimism that with continued collaboration, vigilance, and commitment from all stakeholders, the state was taking decisive actions to combat and control cholera.

In Katsina, the Director of Epidemiology at Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Kabir Suleiman, said the 118 suspected cases returned negative.

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