In a concerning turn of events, a significant cholera outbreak has swept through Ogun State, affecting two local government areas and necessitating urgent intervention to control the spread of the disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, reported that a total of 217 cases have been recorded in Ijebu-North Local Government Area (LGA), with additional cases surfacing in Abeokuta North LGA last week.
Just three days ago, two more cases were identified in Abeokuta South LGA.
Prompted by this escalating public health crisis, the Ogun State government has launched a comprehensive response strategy to curtail the cholera outbreak and protect its residents.
The measures taken so far include the chlorination of wells in the affected areas and collaboration between the State Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment, alongside other relevant government agencies, in a concerted effort to combat the disease.
Dr. Tomi Coker emphasized the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to eliminate cholera, emphasizing that education on essential hygiene practices remains a cornerstone of their strategy to prevent further infections.
She has stressed the need for improved sanitation and sanitary facilities, especially in the affected regions.
The Commissioner linked the root causes of the outbreak to open defecation, poor waste management, and inadequate water sources in the affected LGAs.
Many residents use shallow wells as their water sources, unaware that fecal materials can contaminate these wells, rendering the water unsafe for consumption.
In Ijebu-North LGA alone, 52 shallow wells were found, with a concerning 75 percent showing signs of fecal contamination with coliform bacteria.
In response to these issues, the government is committed to addressing sanitation challenges, encouraging the construction of affordable toilets and sanitary wells in homes, and providing guidelines for the construction of contamination-resistant wells.
This is particularly important during the rainy season, when flooding can wash fecal material into water sources.
Coker issued a stern warning to residents regarding open defecation, noting that houses lacking proper sanitary facilities may be sealed in the interest of public health.
To minimize the risk of cholera, residents are also urged to boil their water, store it securely, practice thorough handwashing before eating, cook food thoroughly, and dispose of waste appropriately.
These measures are expected to play a crucial role in ensuring that every community in Ogun State remains cholera-free and that the current outbreak is brought under control.
The government remains resolute in its commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of its citizens during this challenging time.
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