Determined to curtail the recent outbreak of cholera in Ijebu-North and Abeokuta North Local Government areas of Ogun state, the State government has begun chlorinating wells in the Area.
The State Ministry of Health is also collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and other relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to contain the spread of the disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who made this known during a stakeholders’ meeting in Abeokuta, stated that the key to eliminating cholera is adopting a multi-sectoral strategy, adding that officials from the State Public Health Department are educating residents on essential hygiene practices to prevent cholera.
She disclosed that 217 cases of the disease have been recorded in Ijebu-North LGA, with a few cases reported in Abeokuta North last week, revealing that two cases of cholera were recorded in Abeokuta South LGA three days ago.
The Commissioner attributed the cause of the outbreak to open defecation, poor waste management, and inadequate water sources in the affected local government areas.
“It is unfortunate that our people still engage in open defecation, unaware that fecal materials enter shallow wells, which many of them use as water sources. For instance, in Ijebu-North Local Government, we found 52 shallow wells and microbiological testing revealed that 75 percent of these wells had evidence of fecal contamination with coliform bacteria”, she stated.
“We will work with our colleagues in the Environment Ministry to ensure sanitation, promote the use of appropriate sanitary facilities in homes, and construct sanitary wells. These wells should be well-built and less likely to be contaminated by fecal material, especially during the period of incessant rainfall and flooding, which washes fecal material into our water sources”, she explained.
Coker advised residents of the State to avoid open defecation, construct affordable toilets and sanitary wells in their homes, and warned that the government may seal houses without toilets in the interest of public health.
The Commissioner further advised residents to boil their water, cover it when stored, wash their hands before eating, cook their food thoroughly, and dispose of waste properly, as these measures will help ensure that every community in the State remains cholera-free.