Jide Idris, Lagos state commissioner for health has identified the ‘strange illness’ that killed over 20 children in lekki, Eti-Osa local government area to be measles.
He stated that water samples taken confirmed traces of bacterial infection as a result of poor sanitation in the area.
He added that the blood samples, throat swabs and water samples analysis conducted at the virology reference laboratory and the Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory (DQCL), LASUTH, Ikeja were all indicating that the cause of death is Measles.
“Different tests have confirmed that. There is a marker in the blood that shows active activities of the (measles) virus in that community. The cause of this has to do with environmental sanitation in that place.
“It is a slum area, so a lot of sanitation and personal hygiene are totally off course. With a lot of open defecation, the water system was contaminated and in the water samples we detected a lot of bacteria.”
The commissioner stated that Measles awareness and vaccination has since been issued in affected communities and that no new death has been recorded in last one week since the state’s intervention.
”The truth is that very few people know that, that community exist and it was missed during the vaccination exercise. If you have a community where children have not been vaccinated, measles have a way of dealing with the immunity of such children and leaving them with complications. It can also be complicated by severe malnutrition. It can affect their brains and many parts of the body.
“We heard that Otodo Gbame is a reclaimed area and sand filled for something else entirely. A lot of people come into Lagos and just take over different places and since they don’t have adequate facilities for all the sanitation required, this disease outbreak is what will happen.”