By Daniel Ayantoye
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has revealed that the recent cholera outbreak in Kwara State claimed life of 17 people.
This was contained in the agency’s periodic epidemiological report.
According to the report, 1,617 suspected cases of cholera were reported throughout the state with the 17 fatalities representing a 1.1% fatality rate.
A majority of 818 (50.5%) suspected cases were reported from the Ilorin West LGA of the state, with the most endangered group being children aged between one to five years old with a total of 460 (28.4%) cases. Males also made up over half of the reported cases, accounting for 51.6%.
The report advocated for people be more health conscious, focusing on “prevention of cholera through environmental hygiene practices.”
“Instituting the habit of good environmental hygiene is a first step in preventing cholera outbreaks in a community or region, as the transmission cycle is not established at this point and an outbreak can be prevented.”
To observe proper hygiene, NCDC advised people to take proper care of residential areas, especially by disposing waste appropriately.
“Environmental hygiene, in this context, focuses on care of residential areas, proper treatment and disposal of waste during an outbreak,” the report said.
The agency also said the fight for better hygiene should be a collaborative effort.
“To achieve the maximal impact of any of the aforementioned practices, a communal approach is encouraged. This will support better fostering and impact on the general public on the importance of environmental hygiene practices, in and out of an outbreak season.
“These preventive messages should constitute part of the messages given to the general public at the community, LGA, State and national levels before and during an outbreak,” the agency’s report noted.
Meanwhile, the state government has said its prompt response to the outbreak has stemmed down the number of casualties.
Reacting to the report in a chat with this medium, over the weekend, the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Sulyman Atolagbe Alege said the state government through the ministry, must be commended for its swift action which helped contain the spread in the state.
He said: “Basic point about the outbreak is not on the percentage of mortality but that the Kwara State government through the Ministry of Health is proactive and intervene urgently in all thematic areas of management that is why we recorded great success in curbing the outbreak and low percentage of mortality.
“But, we still continued with our sensitisation and health education including community mobilisation towards healthy environment and cleanliness,” he added.