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Cholera carriers in Ogun took tiger nut in Lagos – Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Dr Tomi Coker, on Monday, disclosed that the state has recorded 25 suspected cases of cholera, out of…

The Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Dr Tomi Coker, on Monday, disclosed that the state has recorded 25 suspected cases of cholera, out of which 9 have been confirmed, with one dead.

Coker, however, said eight of the cases originated from Lagos State, where the carriers traveled to, and reportedly took tiger nut drink.

Coker spoke at a press conference held on Monday in Abeokuta.

She was flanked by the Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy, the General Manager of the State Water Corporation, Mrs Muinat Jaji, and the representative of the Commissioner for Education, Mr Olumide Majekodunmi.

Daily Trust reports that the Lagos State Government had identified an unregistered tiger nut drink as the primary cause of the cholera outbreak affecting several local government areas, including Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, and Kosofe.

Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Kemi Ogunyemi, made this claim in an interview.

“So when we noticed an increase in cases in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos specifically, we went there to investigate. We carried out a survey and found that the common denominator, which was one of the deadly factors, was a tiger nut drink. People who came to the hospitals all identified that they had drunk tiger nut drink. We couldn’t just take their word for it, so we had to take that drink and test it to see what was in it. We immediately sent people out to look for those selling it so we could take a sample.

“From our investigations, we realised that the beverages were not registered, so the producers hadn’t gone through the processes to ensure that what they were producing was safe for the public to consume. We traced it to that,” she said in the interview.

Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, Coker said eight carriers of cholera had a travel history to Lagos where six of them took tiger nut milk.

She said “The initial 8 cases originated from Lagos state the reported epicentre of the Cholera outbreak and a state that shares a border with 4 of our local governments.

“The 8 cases had travel history to Lagos and 6 of them reported taking tiger nut drink while in Lagos.

“Furthermore, we also promptly diagnosed cholera in 5 of the contacts of the patients with a travel history to Lagos State.”

The commissioner said,
prior to the outbreak, as part of the state preparedness, a robust surveillance system was in place in all 20 local government areas, which ensured prompt detection of cases.

Coker said in support of the state response, the state Epidemiology Unit, was on high alert adding that all LGA’s Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers have also intensified surveillance across all 20 council areas.

She said, “Our private health facilities and citizens have been sensitized to heighten their index of suspicion and report any suspected case immediately to the LGA DSNO, and the State response team by calling the following phone numbers 08038642812, 07034214893, and 08084250881.

“All our 20 LGAs have trained rapid-response teams ready to respond to calls at short notice in collaboration with Ogun State Emergency and ambulance service.

“Also, cholera test kits and other consumables needed for treatment have been distributed to all LGAs and designated treatment centres to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment. The treatment of Cholera is free across all government facilities in Ogun State.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has confirmed additional five deaths in the Cholera outbreak in the state.

The figure brings the total number of fatalities recorded to 29 with and 579 cases since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this at a press conference on Monday.

He explained that the death rate was due to patients being presented late at the hospital or brought in dead.

He added that no case had been reported in schools.

“For the past two weeks, we have recorded 29 deaths and 579 suspected cholera cases. The 29 deaths was caused by patients being presented late that we couldn’t resuscitate them.”

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