Cholera spreads to FCT, kills twoNigeria
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The fast-spreading cholera disease has claimed two lives in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, out of the reported 137 cases reported in health centres across the six area councils.
The Special Assistant on Communications to the Minister of Health, Ms. Rakiya Zubairu, confirmed this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, on Monday.
The two deaths were recorded at Gwagwalada area council, which is a densely populated area of the FCT.
The minister’s aide said that the ministry was not relenting on its awareness campaign and education of the public to embrace basic personal hygiene.
She said, “We have not relented in the awareness campaign and from our findings more and more people are now more informed about causes of the disease.
“We are going to the grass roots by involving the people at the local government to speak in the language their people understands.
“With time, we believe that more and more people will learn to imbibe basic hygiene of washing their hands with soap and water after using the toilet.”
Zubairu said that the ministry was also collaborating with the government of states where cholera had been reported on the provision of safe water and clean environment.
The cholera outbreak that ravaged the North-Eastern part of the country since June had claimed more than 600 lives in Bauchi, Bornu, Zamfara, Gombe, Osun, Jigawa, Yobe and five other states.
Meanwhile, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Innocent Ujah, on Monday in Lagos advised Nigerians to be cautious of their personal hygiene.
Speaking at a news briefing on the spread of cholera to hitherto unaffected areas, Ujah said that proper hygiene would reduce the spread of the disease.
He said that findings by the NIMR Emergency Respond Team that visited Bornu and Bauchi States showed that the latter was worse hit.
He said that 17 out of 20 local governments in Bauchi State were affected, while many local governments in Bornu State recorded a significant spread of the disease.
He said that as of Friday when the team left Bauchi, about 3,291 persons were infected, while 104 had died of the infection.
According to him, children die faster due to the loss of water and electrolytes (salt).
In a presentation with the theme, “Cholera as pathology of poverty,” Ujah said that the poor, who could not afford basic health, were the worst affected.
He said that with the alarming rate of the spread of the disease, the public needed to be educated on the health implications of living in an unhealthy environment.
Also, authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Monday, said the cholera outbreak that affected Sabo area of Ife had been brought under control.
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