Lagos Govt urges schools to enforce hygiene as cholera outbreak claims 15 lives

Since the cholera outbreak in the state, not less than 15 persons have died because they started treatment late.

Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi. [Twitter/@akinabayomi]

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made the call at a press briefing at the Lagos House, Marina.

"The children are resuming school, and universities too are resuming; so, we are working very closely with our two commissioners in education, to make sure that we sensitise teachers and school clinics.

“When there is severe vomiting, it is crucial to start the first aid.

“We are still on high alert, we are not relaxing in any way so that we protect our children.

"Don’t collect treatments on streets, don’t go and take antibiotics, you may not need to, you may just need rehydration,” he said.

Abayomi disclosed that since the cholera outbreak in the state, not less than 15 persons had died because they started treatment late.

“We lost not less than 15 persons within five days, which is sad. Most of those people were brought in dead or died soon after arrival because they left it too late,” he stated.

According to the commissioner, cholera is associated with diarrhoea and vomiting.

“When you have diarrhoea, you can revive yourself by drinking water, but with vomiting, you dehydrate easily and the system shuts down.

"It is a contagious disease; so, the same principle applies: good sanitation and use of water.

“Be sure of the water you are drinking and the source of food you are eating,” the commissioner added.

He also advised residents of the state to go to general hospitals and primary health centres to access free treatment, if they suspected the disease, to avoid more fatal cases.

"If you develop symptoms, come quickly so we can address it.

“Also, bear in mind that during a public health crisis, all treatment is provided free by the government. That is the only way we can bring people in quickly.

"We are still anticipating the problem because the bacteria is still in the community.

“It is either in the water or people are still recovering from cholera and they are potentially contagious,” he stated.

Abayomi, however, said that there had been a progressive decline in the number of cases.

“The numbers have come down. We actually have not recorded any case of cholera since yesterday,” Abayomi said.

The professor said that there was a need to nip it in the bud by collecting environmental samples.

“We are working with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources by collecting environmental samples.

“The moment we picked up, through our surveillance, the increasing number of cases of severe gastroenteritis and vomiting, we realised that there was a sudden spike.

"On the 10 June, we saw about 140 cases in Lagos Island, Lekki and Kosofe.

“We realised that something was happening. We activated what we call emergency operation centre, which has multiple pillars, to investigate what was happening across the state,” he noted.

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