A renewed cholera outbreak has been reported in riverine communities of Bomadi and Burutu local government areas of Delta State which claimed over 20 lives in the last two weeks.
Advocate reports that a number of persons, mostly children, were reportedly affected by the water-borne disease in the oil-rich communities which lacks portable drinking water for other domestic uses.
Multiple sources in the affected area said that the people in the community became troubled following the growing number of people with symptoms similar to cholera were being rushed to public hospitals and health centres in the area.
Relevant government authorities were said to have expressed concern over the cholera outbreak, which is coming on the heels of yellow fever outbreak in some communities in the state even while the COVID-19 pandemic still raged.
A source in the ministry simply said yesterday (Wednesday) that the casualty figure was well below 20, which reliable sources in the affected areas affirmed, claiming that only about seven persons of the 150 cases of cholera recorded by last Saturday, January 16, 2021 had died.
The health ministry source, however, said that collation of new cases and necessary analysis of samples collected from the patients was ongoing.
According to ThisDay report, Tuomo, Tamigbe and Gberegolor communities in Bomadi local government area were the most hit as several victims reportedly died before reaching hospital or receiving medical attention.
Nevertheless, a team of officials from the state ministry of health and State Primary Healthcare Development Agency have moved in and working hard to bring the situation under control.
However, the cause of the cholera outbreak is not farfetched, residents of the the area said, lamenting that due to non-existent potable water in the area, the people were left with no choice but to drink from the filthy water sources from the Forcados River and local ponds or wells available to them, which are severally polluted including through open defecation.
Moreover, residents who could afford purified water packaged in plastic bottles and sachets are far less than those who could not afford the relatively pure water. resorthe polluted Forcados river or wells.
“Here in Bomadi, we drink from this river (Focados) because that is the only source of water. Anyone can see how dirty the river is”, a Bomadi resident, Mr Charles Ebiye stated. “Some persons also rely on their shallow wells or ponds; this is coearly the cause of this cholera.”
He further lamented the fact that the state government was yet to put into use the multi-million naira water scheme it constructed in the area years after.
In his reaction, the state commissioner for health, Dr Ononye Mordi, attributed the cholera outbreak to poor hygiene among the residents including drinking water with high iron content and highly polluted by poor sanitary habits.
Ononye, however, assured that conscientious efforts were being made by the state government to activate the water project soon in order to avail the people of the area of affordable clean and potable water supply.
The health commissioner expressed optimism that the situation would soon be put under control as the medical team was working round the clock while vaccination of the residents had commenced.