Cholera Outbreak: Cross River Health Commissioner Takes Sensitisation To Rural Communities
Cholera is a water-borne disease that is easily spread by contaminated food or water. It causes acute watery diarrhoea (watery stool) and if left untreated it can lead to death within hours. With over 91 cases recorded across the State since February, the State Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu in her usual manner has swung into action as she storms Bakassi LGA a Border LGA that is situated in the riverian area making her occupants susceptible to the disease.
Speaking during the rapid response visit, the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu said international Health signals through WHO shows that several persons in southern Cameroon have been affected by the Cholera outbreak with possible spread to Bakassi LGA in Nigeria.
The Commissioner Commended the effort of the Governor Sen Ben Ayade in supporting the wash Program that has given CRS over 7 Open Defecation Free LGA, calling on Bakassi LGA to key in, she commended the Chairman of Bakassi Hon. Iyadim for always residing amongst and supporting health activities. She called on the people of Bakassi to practice personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, drink clean/portable water (boiled in most cases) and avoid open defecation especially in the rivers and streams close by.
“We have lost 2 persons to Cholera in Bakassi and we will not want to lose anymore to Cholera that’s why we have come down here to sensitize you all on the possible causes and prevention of Cholera. As we know it’s a water-borne disease that can be spread by contaminated food or water, if we must remain safe then we must practice regular hand washing, drink clean/portable water if possible boiled the water before drinking, avoid eating cold or uncovered food, avoid open defecation, indiscriminate refuse dumping on both land and water and above all practice good personal hygiene.
“Let me thank our amiable and health friendly Governor Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for always providing us with the right materials and facilities that has always helped to keep our people safe, i commend WHO and NCDC for their support with Cholera diagnostic and treating commodities that will be distributed across our health facilities for easy tackling of disease cases as i call on our health workers, community leaders as well as religious leaders to help us drive this message to our people and report all cases to support surveillance .”
Dr Edu assured the good people of Bakassi that more health facilities will be renovated for them so they can always access care as she charged everyone to be vigilant and report any confirmed or suspected case of Cholera and any other known disease to the nearest health facility or call the LGA DSNO on 08033707355 for a speedy health care service.
Presenting his welcome address, the Chairman of Bakassi LGA Hon. Iyadim Iyadim appreciated the Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu for always making it a duty to come down to his LGA herself on health intervention programs and sensitisation campaigns, he expressed his satisfaction over the very numerous interventions the State has brought to his LGA as he promised to continue to do his best to give his people the best of health care service delivery.
In their sensitisation message to the people, the Director of Public Health Dr Iwara Iwara, the Rapid Response Team Lead for NCDC Mrs Rhoda Atteh, W.H.O State Coordinator Mrs Chisome Emeka and the State Epidemiologist Pst. Inyang Ekpenyong all called on the people of Bakassi LGA and cross riverians at large to practice personal hygiene, drink portable clean water, practice regular hand washing and avoid open defecation as that’s the first step to prevent the disease from spreading. They charged them to always access care and call on the attention of trained health personnel and not resort to self medication.
The DG CRSPHCDA Dr Janet Ekpenyong encouraged Health workers charging them to take samples even while treating and always endeavour to hydrate the child to help keep the child alive.
Highlights of the event was the distribution of commodities for the control and management of Cholera, sensitization/awareness creation at Markets and Sea Ports, entry point and surveillance in LGA.