CITY NEWS Council says no cholera outbreak in Mpape
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.