From Paul Orude Bauchi
No fewer than 20 people have been confirmed dead following an outbreak of gastroenteritis known as Cholera in Bauchi State.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro Mohammed, confirmed the development in a press conference in Bauchi, on Tuesday.
Maigoro disclosed that 322 cases have so far been confirmed in nine out of the 20 local government areas in the state.
He said nine deaths were recorded in Bauchi Local Government out of 147 cases, four in Misau out of 31 cases, three in Toro out of 58 cases, three in Ningi out of 51 cases and one in Giade out of 10 cases.
He said Warji recorded cholera 16 cases with no death, Ganjuwa recorded seven cases with zero death, while Darazo and Shira recorded only one cases respectively with no death.,
The Commissioner said that the ministry was notified of sporadic cases in Magami community in Ningi May 11.
“The index cases was a 37 years old housewife who was presented at Burra General Hospital on April 24, 20201 , who complained of abdominal pains, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. She was managed and discharged,” he said.
Maigoro said the ministry and the State Primary Health Care had to swing into action following news of similar outbreak in neighbouring Sumali, Kano State.
“Following intensified surveillance activities as a result of the report from Burra, the following local government areas Warji, Giade, and Toro detected and reported cases of gastroenteritis,” he said
He said that 21 samples have so far been collected and tested out of which 19 tested positive.
In response to the outbreak, Maigoro revealed that Public Health Emergency Operation Centres have been activated across the state to manage the outbreak with support from relevant ministries, departments and agencies as well as partners.
He said that surveillance activities have been heightened to detect and report cases promptly while isolation centres have been established in all General Hospitals of the nine affected Local Government Areas.
The Commissioner disclosed that four Cholera treatment units have been activated in Bauchi metropolis in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, Specialist Hospital Bauchi, Urban Maternity, Bauchi and Primary Health Care Centres in Kandahar, a surburb of Bauchi Metropolis.
He said drugs and other consumables would be provided to all the isolation sites in the state, mobilization of health workers especially doctors, nburses and paramedics to provide care for victims.
The Commissioner disclosed that the state government has begun chlorination of wells and decontamination of households in the affected local governments.
Other activities, he stated, include engagement of community and religious leaders and the general public on prevention and control measures including frequent washing of hands, boiling of water before drinking
He said the state government has set up a Cholera Treatment Centre at ATBUTH to centralize case management and thanked the state Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed for approving funds to facilitate the response activities.