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Joseph Onojaeme
Dr. Joseph Onojaeme

Health

Delta Collaborating with NCDC to Contain Cholera Outbreak – Onojaeme


The Delta State Government has assured residents that it will give nothing to chance as it collaborates with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) to curb the spread of cholera outbreak in the State.

The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Onojaeme gave the assurance on Tuesday, July 9, when responding to questions on efforts the State Government has made to curb the spread of Cholera in the State recently.

He disclosed that from the three out-breaks which occurred in February, March and June, 2024 a total of 118 cases were recorded in the State and added that from the current outbreak no death was recorded, but unfortunately seven deaths occurred in the previous outbreaks of February and March.

“Cholera is basically a water-borne disease, and that is why it is common in riverine area environments. We have some Local Government Areas that we call hot spot areas but fortunately we have not recorded any cases there such as Ughelli South, Warri South, Warri South West and Warri North but we are currently having it only in Warri South West and in only three Wards in the Council Area.

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“We have actually curtailed it in the State and we are working closely with the NCDC to provide commodities for the patients, and also doing a lot of advocacies; and I use this medium to enjoin the media to help spread the message that the disease is preventable,” the Commissioner explained.

On her part, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Mildred Okowa said the State Government is using a multi-sectoral and multi-partner response to address the spread of the disease.

“It is important to note that it is not just the Ministry of Health but we are also working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Water Resources, and we have had several meetings. We are working closely with community leaders who are helping to spread the message to our people,” the State Epidemiologist explained.

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She said that Cholera is a waterborne disease transmitted by contaminated food and water, but could be prevented through practicing personal hygiene such as washing the hands with soap and running water and ensuring the environment is kept clean at all times.

Dr. Okowa condemned any form of open defecation practice and scenarios where people tend to defecate in the open, and even into the water bodies that people drink from propagating the disease.

Explaining further on efforts being made to curb the spread of the disease, Dr. Okowa disclosed that in Warri South West LGA, health promotion officer who are also part of the community are talking to the residents there in the language they can understand, speaking to them on what cholera is, the dangers and how they can prevent it.

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On other sensitization efforts, she said that health promotion officers were visiting schools, markets, places of worship and other public places while the social mobilization unit in the Ministry of Health has also drawn a roster to meet with the State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and traditional rulers.

The Unit is also leveraging on the community radio to disseminate information on cholera preventive measures, Town hall meetings, community dialogues/engagements and also in each sensitization outreach carry the Ward Development Committee (WDC) members along.

She said that Cholera is treatable but it is very important that in the event of one having watery diarrhea, that person must report to the nearest health facility immediately as it could lead to severe dehydration that could lead to death.


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