The Plateau State Government said only three people, not eight have died from the illness.
The Federal Ministry of Health is to begin investigations into the suspected outbreak of cholera in Namu Village in the Qua’pan Local Government Area of Plateau, an official of the ministry has said.
Akin Oyemakinde, the Chief Consultant Epidemiologist in the ministry, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja that the investigation would determine the kind of intervention to be deployed to the community.
“The ministry is already aware of the outbreak of cholera in Plateau and has sent some team of experts to carry out proper investigations,” he said.
“After the investigation, we will have a comprehensive detail of the situation and the necessary interventions deployed to the areas.”
Mr. Oyemakinde assured that the ministry was on top of the situation and would ensure that it curtailed the spread of the disease.
An epidemiologist in Plateau, Raymond Yuryit, had confirmed the death of eight people with 61 others hospitalised since the outbreak of the epidemic in the state.
Mr. Yuryit said those hospitalised had been diagnosed with the disease and admitted in various health centres. He attributed the outbreak to overcrowding, dirty environment and consumption of unhygienic food and water.
While the federal government says it is aware of the cholera outbreak, authorities in Plateau say it is yet to be confirmed.
The Director, Primary Healthcare of the Plateau State Ministry of Health, Ibrahim Gontu, made the disclosure on Monday in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the medical expert, epidemiologists from the ministry, currently at Namu, had sent in preliminary reports, saying that they were yet to confirm the incidence of cholera. They, however, noted that there were cases of diarrhoea and vomiting among patients.
Mr. Gontu attributed the situation to the increase in human population within the area, due to the presence of refugees from Nasarawa State.
The Plateau State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, about a month ago, said that about 7, 000 people were displaced from Nasarawa.
“You know that there is a tremendous increase in the human population in Quanpan, particularly in Namu; of course, the sanitary condition of the area will change. That is why there are reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, especially among children. But the Ministry has sent in medical experts to take control of the situation, and they have said that it was not a cholera outbreak,” Mr. Gontu said.
The official also disputed the reports that eight people were killed by the “cholera outbreak.”
According to him, only three people have died since the onset of the incident. He said that drugs and other preventive materials have been taken to the affected areas.
Mr. Gontu also advised that people should observe more sanitary habits, particularly when cooking.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, gathered that there has been a shortage of potable water in the areas inhabited by the refugees; and very few of the refugees have been able to find habitable shelter.
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