Cholera: 25 cases recorded in Kirikiri Correctional Centre

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed that 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis confirmed to be caused by Cholera were reported at Kirikiri Correctional Centre.

This was made known in a press statement on Sunday signed by the State Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Affairs, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

Abayomi, however, stated that urgent medical and environmental intervention measures have been implemented with success.

Abayomi disclosed the update on the cholera outbreak following the “One Health” Inter-governmental agency strategic meeting held over the weekend.

Abayomi revealed that although no new cholera-related deaths have been reported in the last 72 hours, the government was intensifying countermeasures to eliminate transmission.

The commissioner also confirmed evidence of ongoing low-grade community transmission, despite the reduction in new daily cases and deaths.

Abayomi noted that interventions are bearing dividends as residents are adhering to public health information and advice on safety measures and the need for early presentation to health facilities when symptoms develop.

“However, he reported that a small outbreak of 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis occurred at Kirikiri Medium security prison confirmed to be caused by Cholera, adding that urgent medical and environmental intervention measures have been implemented with success,” the statement said.

The commissioner said, “We were able to supply Kirikiri medium prison with intravenous fluids, infection prevention and other health consumables. Additionally, the World Health Organisation has donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals which have been delivered to the prison to support prison health facilities with prevention strategies for about 3,200 inmates if required. Immediate water and sanitation issues have been corrected and there are ongoing inspections of other correctional facilities in the state.”

Addressing the source of the original outbreak two weeks ago, Abayomi disclosed that it has been traced to unregulated street beverages and contaminated water supply.

He explained that many of the samples taken from popular street beverages purchased by undercover environmental officers from the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Health in the affected areas confirmed the presence of vibrio cholera bacteria, which is the cause of cholera.

“All of the containers had no NAFDAC accreditation numbers, indicating they are small cottage backyard informal production units. Identifying the precise location of manufacture has proven difficult and the directorate of environmental health is planning to seal any such unregulated manufacture and make arrests of anybody involved with the manufacture or distribution of beverages without NAFDAC numbers,” Abayomi said.

He noted that the state government, in collaboration with the Lagos Water Corporation and sanitation agencies (LAWMA and LASWAMO), is enforcing environmental health countermeasures to ensure widespread sanitation activities, inspection and disinfection of boreholes, among others.

The Commissioner implored the public to also take personal responsibility for consuming safe water, food, and beverages, ensuring good personal hygiene, starting oral rehydration therapy and presenting immediately to hospitals if symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting develop. He noted that treatment of suspected Cholera remains free of charge in all government hospitals.


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