BREAKING: Cholera Outbreak Hits Lagos’ Kirikiri Security Prison

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Cholera Outbreak
BREAKING: Cholera Outbreak Hits Lagos’ Kirikiri Security Prison

BREAKING: Cholera Outbreak Hits Lagos’ Kirikiri Security Prison—-The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, reported on Sunday that 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis, confirmed to be caused by cholera, have emerged at Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.

This revelation contradicts the Nigerian Correctional Service’s (NCoS) assertion on June 26, 2024, that no cholera cases were present in custodial centers nationwide.

NCoS spokesman, Abubakar Umar, had earlier assured The PUNCH that strict hygienic measures in correctional facilities were keeping cholera at bay. However, Prof. Abayomi’s statement highlighted a small outbreak of severe gastroenteritis confirmed as cholera at Kirikiri Prison. Urgent medical and environmental interventions have since been implemented.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reported 118 suspected cholera cases in Katsina State. As of June 24, 2024, NCDC data shows 1,528 suspected cholera cases, with 65 confirmed and 53 deaths across 107 local government areas in 31 states, resulting in a case fatality rate of 3.5%. The hardest-hit states include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos.

In response to the outbreak, President Bola Tinubu has established a multi-sectoral cabinet committee on epidemic control, headed by Prof. Ali Pate, Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare. Prof. Abayomi emphasized that no new cholera-related deaths have been reported in Lagos in the last 72 hours, signaling effective government interventions.

The source of the initial outbreak two weeks ago was traced to unregulated street beverages and contaminated water supplies. Undercover environmental officers from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health confirmed the presence of cholera-causing bacteria in several street beverages, none of which had NAFDAC accreditation numbers. Efforts are underway to locate and shut down these informal production units.

At Kirikiri Prison, health officials have supplied intravenous fluids, infection prevention supplies, and other medical consumables. The World Health Organization has also donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals to support the prison’s health facilities. Immediate water and sanitation issues have been addressed, and other correctional facilities are under inspection.

The Lagos State government is intensifying public health campaigns, urging residents to adhere to hygiene practices and seek early medical intervention when symptoms arise. Similar efforts are underway in Katsina and Kaduna, with comprehensive health measures in place to prevent further spread.

Dr. Jide Idris, Director-General of NCDC, has called for improved waste management and sanitation practices to protect water sources from contamination. As the rainy season approaches, the risk of waterborne diseases increases, making community action essential.

The cholera outbreak in Lagos and other states underscores the need for vigilant public health measures and collaboration among all stakeholders. With ongoing interventions and public cooperation, Nigeria aims to control and eliminate the cholera threat effectively.

 

(Punch)

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