World Bulletin/News Desk
At least eight people have been confirmed dead and 61 others hospitalized in a cholera outbreak at a refugee camp housing internally displaced persons in the central Plateau State.
"There has been an outbreak of cholera in Namu village, eight people have been killed while 61 others have been hospitalized," Dr. Raymond Yuryit, an epidemiologist in Plateau, told reporters Sunday.
"Efforts are being made to halt the spread."
Officials from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have already arrived in Namu to visit the victims.
Dr. Yuryit said the victims, all internally displaced persons from the neighboring Nasarawa State, suffered chronic diarrhea and vomiting.
"We are happy that the situation is already under control," he said, calling on the government to widen public access to potable water and make monthly sanitation exercise mandatory for people of the state.
"This is to ensure good hygiene for the people and stave off a recurrence of this epidemic. Cholera, as you know, occurs with poor hygiene and lack of clean water. Government should do more in this regard," said the epidemiologist.
He said health workers, private and public, have been advised on ways to avert a recurrence of the disease and how to manage such epidemic in the future.
Alhassan Barde, the SEMA chief, confirmed the outbreak and casualty figures in a telephone interview with Anadolu Agency.
"Efforts are being made to ensure this does not happen again," he said.
"We commiserate with the families of the victims. Also, we urge people to always make prompt report in case of any such in the future."
This is the first time cholera outbreak is reported this year, a worrying signal that a disease Nigeria has spent so much to curtail is back largely as a result of continuous lack of potable water and hygiene issues in most local communities.
Many people across Nigeria still drink water from the stream, which often is polluted by cows and other unhealthy human activities.Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2013, 09:43