Nigeria, August 2015, (Blank NEWS Online) EDITORIAL
Disease Outbreak In Delta: Between Cholera and Gastroenteritis
After 96 cases and six fatalities were established in a sudden outbreak of a disease, touted to be cholera in Aladja community, Udu local government area of the Delta state, the state government has yet to unravel the mystery surrounding the outbreak.
Meanwhile, Delta state government has quickly debunked claims of cholera outbreak in Aladja, a community in Udu local government area of the state.
If a statement credited to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Sunday Otobo in Asaba, saying there was no confirmed outbreak of cholera in Delta State, but that there were incidents of stooling and vomiting recorded in Aladja, Udu Local Government Area of the state, is anything to go by, then the state government has failed to rise up to the occasion.
Although he claimed that various samples have been taken to Lagos for testing , he insisted that “none has been confirmed to be suffering from cholera” while the results of the test are yet to be received from Lagos after analysis.
For Dr. W. Henry, a medical officer in Udu local government, who has been attending to patients admitted in the Primary Health Centre, “having conducted several tests and analysis, there was no confirmed case of cholera but an explosive case of gastroenteritis.”
He revealed that so far 96 cases and six fatalities have been established in the area since the outbreak of the disease.
However, the state Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s directive to Health officers in the 25 local government areas of the state to be proactive in detecting and tackling any outbreak of diseases in all communities is a welcome development that would help stave-off disease spread and casualties.
While community leaders in Aladja have expressed sadness over the disease outbreak, they had also appealed to the state government to reactivate the long abandoned community water scheme to provide potable drinking water.
Before the outbreak of the disease, Aladja community’s source of drinking water has been the river, dug-in-well and satchet water but the Chairman of Udu local government council, Chief Solomon Kpomah has initiated measures to ensure that henceforth all satchet and well water are examined by the NAFDAC officials in the local government area.
Governments at all levels possesses near total responsibilities in providing cheap potable drinking water for the citizenry, even when the reverse has been the case with past administrations, the present adminstration should make its relevant ministries, departments and agencies become proactive instead of waiting for outbreaks and fatalities before taking actions.
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