Oyo Government alerts residents against cholera outbreak
Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
The Oyo State government, on Friday, intimated residents and citizens of the state on the dangers of cholera outbreak, urging them to prioritise preventive measures.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Ayoola Adebisi, disclosed this during a press briefing which held at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism building, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan.
The alert came on the heels of the outbreak of cholera in some council areas in the state including, Iddo, Akinyele and Irepo.
Adebisi explained that cholera is a water borne disease that thrives in unhygienic conditions and is fuelled by practices such as eating or drinking of contaminated food or water.
He said: “Cholera is a water borne illness which is highly contagious. It is an infection that is transmitted from person to person through faeco oral route, that is through eating food or drinking of water contaminated by faeces, especially where the source of drinking water has been polluted by flooding in unprotected wells as well as attending to large gathering of people during ceremonies such as wedding and funeral and contact with persons with cholera or who died of cholera.”
Adebisi explained that the disease often presents with frequent watery diarrhea and vomiting and it is common where people practice open defecation, imploring members of the public to always take the following precautions and preventive measures:
“Avoid drinking water from doubtful sources, e.g streams, wells that have been polluted by flood water. Avoid dumping of faeces and refuse into streams and rivers
“Ensure water from doubtful sources is boiled, and cooled before drinking. Regular hand washing after visiting the toilet, bathroom and attending to anyone stooling.
“Washing fruits and vegetable well with clean water before eating. Covering of all foods and drinks from out of reach of house fly.”
He revealed that disease surveillance and notification officers in all the 33 LGAS of the state and have been put on alert to institute preventive measures and sensitisation of health professionals in public and private hospitals to promptly respond to cholera outbreak in the event of any occurrence.
While reassuring the populace of the state government’s effective preparedness for the prevention of cholera outbreak, Dr Adebisi pleaded with them to own their actions by ensuring that they maintain hygienic practices, properly dispose of their faeces and refuse and improve on their personal hygiene.
He added: “Suspected individuals are to be referred to the nearest government hospitals for free and quality care. You can also notify the Ministry of Health by calling the following numbers: 09058704101, 08025245809.”
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Bunmi Babalola, said the alert is imperative in view of the need to curtail the spread of the disease.