Yobe state government has confirmed the death of 61 persons following a cholera outbreak in the state.
The state commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Bello Kawuwa, stated this via a statement made available to newsmen in Damaturu on Friday.
He said the cholera outbreak was confirmed as a result of laboratory tests that verified some cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) as being caused by Vibrio bacterae, “the bacteria that causes cholera”.
He said a total of 906 cases of the AWD has been recorded from July to September 17, 2018, in five (5) local government areas of Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu, Fune, Potiskum and Nangere.
“As a result, over 795 patients were successfully treated and discharged, 50 are still on admission in various health facilities across the state. Unfortunately, we lost 61 patients mainly due to delays in timely reporting to the healthcare facilities for life-saving treatment.
“It pains us so much that the state has lost its dear sons and daughters. We assure all citizens that we will try our best to preserve their lives”, he said.
He explained that the ministry of health with the support of World Health Organisation (WHO) worked closely with laboratories in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Abuja, to verify the cause of the AWD outbreak.
“In the light of this and due to our continuous concern for the health of our people and the need to scale up our response with the support of our international partners. The state government is, therefore, declaring an outbreak of cholera in the state”, he said.
Kawuwa also attributed the outbreak, in some of the areas, to the absence of sanitation and safe drinking water due to the heavy rainfall in the state within the past few weeks.
The commissioner noted that the declaration of Yobe as cholera state is a clarion call on all health and WASH sector partners, religious and traditional leaders as well as citizens to join hands with concern ministries to ensure that the outbreak is contained within the shortest time.
He urged the international and humanitarian partners – the UN agencies, international and local NGOs to bring their full expertise to bear on the cholera response effort in the state.
“I also challenged the media to use its platform to inform and educate the general public about the danger of cholera and how to avoid it”, he added.