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Cholera Outbreak Claims 17 Lives in Anambra

By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

…Its Diarrhea, Not Cholera, Says Government

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Fear has gripped residents of Anambra state, South- East Nigeria, over the outbreak of a disease suspected to be cholera which has claimed 17 lives in various communities of the area.

The disease which mostly hit villages in Anambra West Council Area of the state, affected  Igbedor, Nzam, Umuenwenum Anam and Ode Communities.

Out of the number, 9 persons reportedly died of the disease in Igbedor, three in Nzam, three in Umuenwelum and two in Ode.

Spokesman for one of the affected  community, Chief Cyprian Akpofe, who briefed newsmen Monday, said  that “the community usually experiences cholera around this time of the year, annually.

“It’s pure cholera, all those that died exhibited all symptoms of cholera before they died. It’s pure cholera. It happens here annually.” he stated.

However, in a contrary statement,  the State Commissioner for Health,  Dr. Joe Akabuike, who led some officials of the ministry to the council affected Communities, said the deaths recorded in the area was not that of cholera outbreak as being speculated, but diarrhea

He noted that the disease was as a result of the recent flood disaster that submerged most buildings and farmlands in the area.
Dr. Akabuike, blamed residents of the areas, for seeking solution through traditional means, including going to herbalists rather than accessing health facilities as appropriate.

According to him, “What we have in Anambra West is not cholera outbreak as being speculated, what we have is

disease that usually occurs after flooding, characterized by vomiting and other signs but what is important to us is not necessarily the name but the worry that people are dying.

“We are here to tell them that this is a pure environmental challenge. I am here with a complete team and lots of drug.” adding that governor Willie Obiano had approved money to ensure the situation was arrested to prevent further deaths.

He said: “They should maintain personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, they die because they seek a solution where it will never come from.

“We will make arrangement to ensure that more drugs are sent to them and immediate construction of a borehole to solve their water needs.” he promised.



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