Cholera Outbreak Affects 25 Inmates At Kirikiri  Prison

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has confirmed an outbreak of severe gastroenteritis, identified as cholera, among 25 inmates at Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.

 The announcement came on Sunday, countering earlier claims by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) that custodial centers nationwide were free of the disease.

On June 26, 2024, NCoS spokesman Abubakar Umar assured the public that routine hygienic measures in correctional facilities had kept cholera at bay. However, Prof. Abayomi’s statement, signed by the Director of Public Affairs for the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, highlighted a small but significant outbreak at the Kirikiri facility.

Investigations into the source of the outbreak at Kirikiri traced it to unregulated street beverages and contaminated water supplies. 

PLATFORM TIMES reports that samples taken by environmental officers confirmed the presence of Vibrio cholerae bacteria in several popular street drinks, none of which had National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) accreditation.

Prof. Abayomi stated, “Identifying the precise location of manufacture has proven difficult. 

However, the directorate of environmental health plans to seal unregulated production sites and arrest those involved.”

The state health commissioner detailed the swift response, which included supplying intravenous fluids, infection prevention materials, and other health consumables to Kirikiri prison. 

He said  the World Health Organization (WHO) donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals to support the prison’s health facilities, catering to approximately 3,200 inmates if necessary.

“Immediate water and sanitation issues have been corrected,” said Prof. Abayomi, “and ongoing inspections of other correctional facilities in the state are being conducted to prevent further outbreaks.”

This incident is part of a larger cholera crisis affecting various parts of Nigeria. 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported 1,528 suspected cholera cases, 65 confirmed cases, and 53 deaths across 107 local government areas in 31 states as of June 24, 2024.

 The most affected states include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos, with a national case fatality rate of 3.5%.

In response to the escalating crisis, President Bola Tinubu has approved the formation of a multi-sectoral cabinet committee on cholera control, led by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate.

Prof. Abayomi reported that no new cholera-related deaths have occurred in the last 72 hours in Lagos.

 He noted ongoing low-grade community transmission, but emphasized that public health interventions are yielding positive results. 

Residents have been adhering to health guidelines and seeking early medical attention when symptoms arise.


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