…One Confirmed Dead, Not 9
By Ruth Oginyi
Contrary to our report last edition in which it was published that about 9 persons had died of cholera outbreak at Ameku, Okposhi Ngbo Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike, has confirmed only one person dead.
Although there were mixed reports on the casualties figures of the disease with some saying about 20 and yet another saying 13, and 10, official report confirmed one woman dead in the disease outbreak while others are struggling to survive.
Sixty eight persons affected by the cholera outbreak in the area were said to have been discharged in a health post in the community after treatment.
The State Commissioner for Health Dr. Daniel Umezuruike who confirmed only one death, said the index case involved a woman recorded in the outbreak of cholera in the community.
He said the 68 persons that were admitted in the Health Post have been treated and discharged and that no case of the disease has been recorded again in the community.
“In Ameku, Okposi Ward II, Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi State where we have an outbreak of cholera that has affected 68 people; so far, all the patients have been successfully managed and discharged home.”
“The only person that died was the index case that was brought from another village where someone who is said to be a patent medicine dealer that attends to people and the mother who was staying with him all of a sudden was reported that she had died and they brought her to their village and buried.”
“Few hours after the burial, so many indigenes of the village started having abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. Many of them were affected at the same time. Immediately we were alerted, we sent advanced team headed by the state Epidemiologist, WHO and other partners who went there and met 20 people on admission and of that time, about 38 people were affected.”
“They commenced all the interventions because they went with all the intervention materials including IVR, ORS, antibiotics, zinc tablets among others and commenced treatment and all of them were successfully managed and discharged home.”
“I have visited the affected community with some journalists and no single person is still sick but we carried out health education and public awareness campaign to discourage open defecation. We found out that the main health issue they have is that they don’t have toilet facilities in that community.”
Their source of water is good which are boreholes. The people were happy with our interventions and subsequent visits and promised to construct VIP toilets in all the families by themselves while government will help to upgrade the health post in their area to a Primary Health Centre status.
Some stakeholders attributed the cholera outbreak to open defecation and warned the community to stop open defecation.
Some of the patients were seen receiving treatment from home while some were in the health centers lying on the ground as the health center was filled to its capacity.
WHO Representatives in Ohaukwu embarked on sensitization to the rural area urging them to maintain personal hygiene.