As cholera outbreaks have been reported in 22 states and the FCT this year, Oyo State on Friday, asked residents to live in hygienic environments to avoid the water-borne disease.
This is contained in a statement issued in Ibadan by Dr Ayoola Adebisi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.
Between January and August, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 31,425 suspected cholera cases, 311 infections and 816 deaths nationwide.
The affected states are Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Adamawa, Katsina, Borno and the FCT.
NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said in a statement in August that “the situation has been exacerbated by poor access to clean water, open defecation, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene.
“Without proper water, sanitation, and hygiene, Nigeria remains at risk of cholera cases and deaths.’’
In the Friday statement issued by the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Adebisi implored residents to avoid drinking water from doubtful sources, such as streams and wells that had been polluted by flood water.
He urged residents to shun large gatherings of people during ceremonies such as weddings and funerals or to have contact with persons who has cholera or who died of cholera.
“Avoid dumping of faeces and refuse into streams and rivers and ensure that water from doubtful sources is boiled, and cooled before drinking.
“Wash your hands regular after visiting the toilet, bathroom and after attending to anyone stooling.
“Wash fruits and vegetables well with clean water before eating and always cover all foods and drinks from the reach of houseflies,’’ he admonished.
The permanent secretary added that disease surveillance and notification officers in all the 33 Local Government Areas of state had been put on alert to institute preventive measures.
He stated also that there had been sensitisation of health professionals in public and private hospitals to promptly respond to outbreak of Cholera in the event of any occurrence.
“The state reassures the populace of effective preparedness for the prevention of outbreak of cholera.
“I implore the populace to properly dispose of their faeces and refuse as well as improve on their personal hygiene.
“Suspected individuals are to be referred to the nearest government hospital for free and quality care.
“You can also notify the Ministry of Health by calling the following numbers 09058704101, 08025245809 in case of any emergency’’ he stressed.