Press Release: Commissioner urges Lagosians to take precautionary measures against spread of cholera

Governor Fashola
Governor Fashola

Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Aderemi Ibirogba has once again reiterated the need for members of the public to maintain high standard of personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the measures to prevent the spread of cholera epidemic which has been detected in the State.

Ibirogba who disclosed this in a statement issued from his office today listed measures to be taken to reduce the risk of contracting the disease as including washing of hands with soaps and water frequently and thoroughly; boiling of water before drinking if the source of the water is in doubts; washing of fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating; cooking of food thoroughly before eating; disposing of waste material properly; and keeping of water containers clean.

Said he “our surveillance activities and investigations revealed that the suspected cases of cholera in Lagos were contracted from food sources such as the African food salad popularly called ‘Abasha’, well-water sources and other infected foods from food sellers, and other unhygienic habits. This is the reason why we are advising the public to keep away from the African food salad popularly called ‘Abasha’ and boil water before drinking if not sure of the source of the water”

Ibirogba urged members of the public to ensure proper disposal of waste and ensure they avoid possible backflow connection between water and sewer system adding that people should wash hands thoroughly if and when they have been in contact with a cholera patient or touch any item or surface that may have been contaminated

“Cholera is acquired through the ingestion of an infective dose of contaminated food or water and can be transmitted through many mechanisms like direct or indirect contamination of water or food by feaces of infected individuals. The disease should be suspected in any person who develops diarrhoea with or without vomiting, weakness, excessive loss of body fluids (dehydration), restlessness, irritability, or person who dies from frequent stooling”, he explained.

The Commissioner posited that the need to ensure high standard of hygiene at all times cannot be overemphasized especially following the reported cases of the disease in Lagos stressing that observing adequate hygiene is part of the measures that can help curtail the spread and prevent the diseases from being an epidemic.

He posited that the huge population of Lagos has made it very important to enlighten the public on the measures to be taken to prevent the spread of disease adding that this is the reason why the State government has stepped up its effort in sensitizing the public on ways to curb the spread stressing that the need for members of the public to be vigilant cannot be overemphasized.

Ibirogba noted government has already evolved an inter-ministerial collaboration involving the Ministries of Health, Environment and Information, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and Lagos State Water Corporation adding that health and environmental status assessment of prone communities is on-going.

According to him, emergency preparedness and response (EPR) committees at local government and state levels have been sensitized on preparedness and response to cholera outbreak adding that government has also purchased and distributed to all health centers in local government areas of the state drugs for the management of the disease.

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