Health

Cholera outbreak hits Kirikiri Prison, 25 inmates affected

The Lagos State government has disclosed that 25 cases of severe gastroenteritis occurred at Kirikiri Medium Security Prison, confirmed to be caused by cholera.

 

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, while giving update of outbreak of cholera in the state yesterday, added that urgent med­ical and environmental interven­tion measures had been imple­mented with success.

 

“We were able to supply Kiriki­ri medium prison with intrave­nous fluids, infection prevention and other health consumables.

 

“Additionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated 10,000 doses of pharmaceuticals which have been delivered to the prison to support prison health facilities with prevention strat­egies for about 3,200 inmates if required.

 

“Immediate water and sanita­tion issues have been corrected and there is ongoing inspections of other correctional facilities in the state,” the commissioner said.

 

Addressing the source of the original outbreak two weeks ago, Abayomi disclosed that it has been traced to unregulated street beverages and contaminated wa­ter supply.

 

He explained that many of the samples taken from popular street beverages purchased by un­dercover environmental officers from the Environmental Protec­tion Agency (LASEPA) and the Ministry of Health in the affected areas confirmed the presence of vibrio cholera bacteria, which is the cause of cholera.

 

“All of containers had no NAF­DAC accreditation numbers, in­dicating they are small cottage backyard informal production units. Identifying the precise lo­cation of manufacture has prov­en difficult and the directorate of environmental health is plan­ning to seal any such unregulated manufacture and make arrests of anybody involved with manufac­ture or distribution of beverages without NAFDAC numbers”, Abayomi said.

 

However, Abayomi announced a significant improvement in dai­ly cholera cases from the spike reported two weeks ago.

 

The government acknowl­edged evidence of ongoing low-grade community transmission, because few cases were still pre­senting to hospitals.

 

He revealed that although no new cholera-related deaths have been reported in the last 72 hours, the government was intensifying countermeasures to completely eliminate transmission.

 

Abayomi noted that the reduc­tion in new daily cases and the absence of new deaths indicated interventions were bearing divi­dends but more importantly that residents were adhering to public health information and advice on safety measures and the need for early presentation to health facili­ties when symptoms develop.

 

He noted that the state govern­ment through its interagency ‘One Health’ approach is enforcing en­vironmental health countermea­sures in collaboration with Lagos water corporation and sanitation agencies (LAWMA and LASWA­MO) to ensure widespread sanita­tion activities, inspection and dis­infection of boreholes, supplying of potable water to affected local governments, and enforcement and stricter regulations on local beverage manufacturers.

 

“Henceforth and as approved by Mr. Governor, a higher sani­tary and regulatory standard of eateries, food handlers, beverage manufacturers and groundwater will be implemented and enforced to curb the burden of food and wa­ter borne diseases in Lagos,” he added.

 

The commissioner empha­sised the need for continued vig­ilance and adherence to public health precautionary measures, and in addition to government interventions, he implored the public to also take personal re­sponsibility for consuming safe water, food and beverages, ensur­ing good personal hygiene, start­ing oral rehydration therapy and presenting immediately to hospi­tals if symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting develop. He noted that treatment of suspected cholera remains free of charge in all gov­ernment hospitals.

 

Abayomi indicated that there was no need for the public to pan­ic and expressed optimism that with continued collaboration, vigilance, and commitment from all stakeholders, the state is tak­ing decisive actions to effectively combat and control the spread of cholera, safeguarding the health and well-being of its residents.

 

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