An outbreak of cholera has been reported in Bida, Bida Local Government Area of Niger State, killing no fewer than 10 people while 60 others have been hospitalized.
The local government, in an official statement confirmed the outbreak, even as the residents of the town claimed that the community has been thrown into panic and fear as a result of the outbreak.
The residents blamed the outbreak on the consumption of unhygienic water as the town has been without pipe borne water for some time. Some of the victims were admitted at either the Federal Medical Centre or the Abdulmalik Ndayako General Hospital in the town.
An official letter from the Bida Local Government, signed by the Council Secretary, Suleiman Sheshi for the chairman, dated 18th June, 2018 and addressed to the state Commissioner for Health, which also confirmed the outbreak said: “the council had no capacity to contain the outbreak.”
The letter expressed regrets that as at the time of the outbreak yesterday, Sunday: “only one medical doctor was on call at the hospital due to manpower shortage.
“The General Hospital is lacking medical consumables and adequate facilities to cater for the present ’emergent’ health challenge. Over ten (10) infected with the disease have been confirmed dead.
“The present situation at hand cannot be handled by the Bida LGA alone, part of the reason why this letter is written is to request for superior intervention from the state government. Prompt action from your part will, without any doubt, save a lot of lives presently at critical points of survival.”
Meanwhile, the council had in a separate letter titled “announcement” advised the people of the council to maintain the “highest hygiene in order to avoid the spread of the outbreak”.
The council warned against drinking of unhygienic water which was capable of spreading the disease in addition to telling residents “to be careful on the consumption of fruits already sliced for re-sale by grocers, and herbal concoction prepared under poor hygienic conditions”.
“Person or persons suspected to have contacted cholera should be rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment without delays,” the statement said, adding that: “On no account should home treatment be used as an option.”
This second statement also signed by the council secretary, Suleiman Sheshi warned: “whoever handles or has any form of contact with cholera patient should properly wash their hands with soap and detergents. Where these are not available, ashes should be used to wash the hands thoroughly.”
All efforts to get the confirmation of the incident from the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mohammed Jibrin, were abortive as at 6:20pm today, Monday.