CITY NEWS Coun­cil says no cholera out­break in Mpape

Daily Trust - - CITY NEWS - By Taiwo Adeniyi & Al­fred Iwenekha

Health au­thor­i­ties in Bwari Area Coun­cil of the Federal Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) have dis­pelled in­for­ma­tion mak­ing rounds about cholera out­break in Mpape, an Abuja sub­urb, de­scrib­ing the ail­ment as di­ar­rhoea.

Head, Health Depart­ment of the Area Coun­cil, Dr. Goji Sun­day, said the sit­u­a­tion in the com­mu­nity can­not be said to be cholera un­til a clin­i­cal test is con­cluded. He how­ever did not talk about the like­li­hood of a cholera out­break.

There are re­ports that about 11 res­i­dents were feared dead in a cholera out­break in the com­mu­nity but ac­cord­ing to Dr. Goji, about seven per­sons have so far been treated at the Pri­mary Health­care Cen­tre in the com­mu­nity with mild cases of vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea and not cholera.

“Cholera is not only the ma­jor cause of vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea, there are other vi­ral or­gan­isms that can cause those dis­ease ex­cept we can clin­i­cally say. As pro­fes­sion­als, we do not from the symp­toms say this is cholera, we say it is Gas­tro En­tireties. But the lay­man, once it is vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea it is cholera and that is what has been fly­ing in the press all over the place,” he said.

“We did a rapid di­ag­nos­tic test on the five people ini­tially ad­mit­ted and two of them had signs that it might be cholera but like I said it’s just a rapid as­sess­ment test,” he added.

Mean­while, the FCT Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the Pri­mary Health Care De­vel­op­ment Board, Dr. Ril­wanu Mo­hammed said the board is yet to con­firm the al­leged ca­su­alty fig­ure, adding that sus­pected cases are un­der­go­ing di­ag­nos­tic test while so­cial mo­bil­i­sa­tion has com­menced.

“We took spec­i­men to the Gwag­wal­ada Teach­ing Hospi­tal where we are ex­pect­ing the re­sult to be avail­able any­time from now, it is only then that we can con­firm whether it is cholera or other dis­eases caused by other bac­te­ria. Ex­cept we get the re­sult from Gwag­wal­ada Teach­ing Hospi­tal be­cause it is only there that it can be con­firmed,” Dr. Goji said.

He said the depart­ment was alerted about the out­break by the tra­di­tional head of the com­mu­nity on Mon­day.

“I quickly mo­bilised my med­i­cal team and when we came here, there were ba­si­cally no pa­tient in the hospi­tal. So we told the team to visit the com­mu­nity and see if there were cases in the com­mu­nity that has not been re­ported to the hospi­tal.

He said the depart­ment has mo­bilised teams to the com­mu­nity to sen­si­tise them on what to do to main­tain a higher per­sonal hy­giene, “These are ur­ban slums and struc­tures are not prop­erly planned, no good drainages so you might have this fac­tors that will en­cour­age this out­break of vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea,” he said.

He added that the area coun­cil has pro­vided free treat­ment of people that might be af­fected and also en­cour­aged res­i­dents to re­port any cases im­me­di­ately to the health cen­tre and not keep them at home.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing them to boil their wa­ter while we are also mak­ing pro­vi­sion for­wa­ter guard that they can use to treat the people as some people might not wait to boil wa­ter and drink.

On the re­ported death fig­ures, he said: “We can­not re­ally as­cer­tain it, is just based on the re­port we have from the com­mu­nity.” The first pa­tient that re­ported on Satur­day was treated and re­ferred to Maitama Gen­eral Hospi­tal but he went home in­stead. I think that pa­tient even­tu­ally passed away.”

“We can­not in­de­pen­dently con­firm that, the com­mu­nity had in­vited some me­dia houses and even took them to the grave­yard. There are con­flict­ing fig­ures now.”

When City News vis­ited the com­mu­nity, the ward of the health fa­cil­ity was empty though the cen­tre is crowded with pa­tients said to come for im­mu­ni­sa­tion.

How­ever, a res­i­dent met at the cen­tre, Nasiru Us­man, said he has been vom­it­ing for two days while the tra­di­tional head of the com­mu­nity was not around to talk to City News.

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