By Auke Apa
Sixteen people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of cholera in Sokoto state, while 40 others are on admission in hospitals across the state, a health official has said.
Dr. Bello Dahiru, who has been managing patients at the Primary Health Centre in Kasarawa, a suburb of Sokoto, the state capital, said the deaths and admissions occurred within the last three days.
The outbreak, officials say, has now lasted days, leaving residents of the state in panic.
It is not clear what the state government is doing to halt the epidemic. The state Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Aliyu, did not answer or return calls.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Yakubu Ahmed, has debunked speculation that there was a case of the Ebola Virus Disease in the state.
According to him, laboratory tests carried out on the patient indicated he is without the virus.
Dr. Ahmed admonished members of the public not to panic as the federal government and health personnel in the state are committed to the safety of Nigerians at all time.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, he said: “This is to notify members of the public that a 25 year old patient was brought to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, four days ago, precisely on first of September, 2014, on account of vomiting, weakness of the body, cough and bleeding from the nostrils.
“He was initially managed at a private hospital on account of gastroenteritis for which he got better and was discharged home only to present with features mentioned at our institution.
“In view of the current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, the bleeding created a lot of panic both among health workers and the general public necessitating sending his blood sample to the reference laboratory in Lagos.
“The Chief Medical Director, UDUTH, has gotten the approval of the Honourable Minster of Health, Processor Onyebuchi Chukwu to inform the general public that the result of the investigation was negative to Ebola, Lassa, Dengue and West Nile Diseases.
“In line with this, we urge people not to panic and be assured that the Federal Government is committed to the safety of Nigerians. We also commend the efforts of the Health personnel for their vigilance and courage in the management of the case.”