33 feared dead as cholera ravages communities in Rivers

33 feared dead as cholera ravages communities in Rivers

Saturday, December 7, 2019 3:01 pm


Some of those affected by cholera at a healthcare centre

… Healthcare workers can’t  access  the affected Communities due insecurity

…State Ministry of confirms outbreak but not sure of number casualties

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

There are fears that at least 33 persons have been consumed in the cholera outbreak ravaging some communities in Andoni local government area of Rivers State.

Mr Clement Sunday, Community Development Chairman, Ngor Community who was involved in the monitoring of the outbreak confirmed that 33 persons have so far been lost to the cholera outbreak in the different communities under the local government.

It was gathered that communities so far affected by the cholera outbreak are: Unyeada, Ngo, Afaradigi, Samanga and Oyorokoto community.

A healthcare worker told this magazine that there is need for urgent intervention from the state government as the health centres in the communities are overwhelmed and are struggling to manage the epidemic.

The Community Development Committee, CDC, Chairman of Ngo town, Clement Sunday, confirmed to this magazine that 10 lives have been lost to the epidemic in his community alone.

Sunday added that number of deaths is increasing by the day as one person dies every 6 to 12 hourly due to  inadequate health officials to manage the over 100 persons already diagnosed with the epidemic in the local government in the past one week.

He called for urgent deployment of more health officials to help handle the situation.

The CDC Chairman of Ngo Community attributed the cholera outbreak to lack of potable water in the area.

He said the people depend solely on stored rain water now, because their streams and wells are drying up due to the onset of the dry season.

Efforts to get Andoni local government chairman and officials of the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board speak on the cholera outbreak proved abortive as at the time of filling this report.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Rivers Ministry of Health, Caroline Wali, confirmed the cholera outbreak to newsmen on Friday.

She was however silent on the number of deaths recorded so far and the cause of the outbreak.

Wali urged the people to maintain good hygiene, wash their hands always and drink clean water to mitigate the out break.

She added that health teams have been sent to the affected communities to give medicines that can  stop diarrhea, including infusions and oral re-hydration salts to those affected by the outbreak.

She added that the government is still carrying out investigations and so cannot give the number of casualties.

According to her, the investigations being carried out by government include taking water samples from wells and other sources of drinking water from communities  for analysis.

The Permanent Secretary also said they also give health talk and advocacy for people to observe good health practice by washing their hands and fruits before eating.

But investigations by our our correspondent revealed that the insecurity is hampering healthcare personnel, especially doctors and nurses from accessing the affected communities.

It would recalled that on October 8, two policemen and a boat driver abducted by sea pirates in Ngor Waterside area of the Local Government.

The whereabouts of the kidnapped victims who were going to Port Harcourt, the state capital before they were abducted on the waterways has remained a mystery to security agencies.

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