Twenty people have been killed by a cholera outbreak in the community of Ekureku, and the government of Cross River claims to have deployed the necessary human and material resources to contain the situation.
This was revealed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Calabar by Dr Janet Ekpeyong, the Director General of the Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
Ekpeyong, who expressed regret over the fatalities, stated that aggressive measures have been taken to avoid the future spread of the disease in the affected villages of Ekureku in the Abi Local Government Area of the state.
She said that lives could have been saved if standard procedures had been followed in the impacted communities.
She said a response team of state and federal officials and representatives from the WHO, the Nigerian Red Cross, and the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programme had been sent.
Moreover, she stated, “the combined team have all intervened accordingly and helped to save lives and prevent further spread of the disease.”
“The government finds this incident quite unfortunate and sympathise with affected families.”
The primary healthcare director for the state said that at least 30 people had been hospitalised due to the outbreak.
She stated, “because of the fast transmission rate of cholera, we recorded many deaths, with many others hospitalised in various government-owned facilities and are responding to treatment.
“We are applying every possible means to halt transmission as we have gone across the community sensitising the people on the possible ways of managing the disease.”
To help eradicate cholera and similar diseases, “we have as well been speaking to community leaders to support the government by lending their voices to ensure their communities adhere to hygiene protocols”, she explained.
She claimed they took samples and sent them off for verification while they treated the water source and fumigated the area.
NAN reported that at least 20 people had perished in the rural village on the border with Ebonyi from Thursday through Saturday due to a cholera outbreak.
The investigation indicated that the locals have been battling issues related to access to clean water and inadequate medical care.
Agbara, Ngarabe, Ekureku-be, Akpoha, Akare-for, Anong, Emenekpon, Etegevel, Egboronyi, and Emegeh were the ten villages that formed Ekureku.