Cholera death toll hits in Lagos hits 21, as cases rise to 401

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, cholera death toll rose to 21, with 401 suspected cases recorded across the state.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi giving an update on the diseases disclosed that the total number of cholera cases has increased to 401 across Lagos, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recording the highest numbers.

Ogunyemi, while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC), added that the death toll has also risen to 21, an increase of six from the previously reported 15 fatalities.

She said: “The rise in cases was anticipated following the Ileya festivities, during which large gatherings occurred. She, however, noted that suspected cases are subsiding across LGAs, particularly in previously affected LGAs due to state government interventions and surveillance efforts.

She said the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Health and other sister agencies, is maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programs and activities to curb the spread.

“The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), continues to collect samples of water sources, food, and beverages to identify the source of contamination. We have also intensified our surveillance activities in communities, particularly in affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education to ensure all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and scholars as they return. Residents must, however, remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene, and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera,” the Special Adviser stated.

The Special Adviser urged citizens to seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever, stressing that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities.

While noting that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu remains committed to ensuring that residents of Lagos receive quality and affordable health care, the Special Adviser extended the gratitude of the State Government to local, national, and international partners—including UNICEF, WHO, NCDC, NIMR, Red Cross, and others—for their support in combating the outbreak.

“Appreciation is also extended to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists, environmental health officers, Water Corporation officers, surveillance officers, heads of agencies, members of PHEOC, and volunteers who are working around the clock to combat the disease and keep Lagos safe,” she added.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae — in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

Culled from ir