The Gombe State Government has confirmed a fresh outbreak of cholera that has killed five people, while 16 others were hospitalised at the Primary Health Centre, Kembu in Balanga Local Government Area of the state.
The state Acting Epidemiologist, Dr Nuhu Bile, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria saying that the cholera outbreak occurred in October. He said that the State Rapid Response team alongside World Health Organisation (WHO) had visited the scene immediately it received news of the incident.
According to him, 70 patients were treated and discharged, while the five people died before medical help could reach them. He added that 16 others were being treated at the health centre for the disease. Bile said the recent deaths had brought the number of cholera mortality to 13, while no fewer than 500 patients had been treated and discharged in the last five months.
The epidemiologist attributed the cause of the outbreak to the damaged five hand pumps in the community which forced people to seek an unsafe alternative source of water. Bile added that five other water wells found to be contaminated had been sealed to prevent further spread of the disease. He named some of the recently affected local governments to include Yamaltu-Deba, Funakaye Gombe with the most recent being Balanga.
The epidemiologist advised people to ensure clean and safe environmental, and as well as improved personal hygiene. “Enhance environmental and personal hygiene, boil water from the well before drinking. You must also ensure you properly wash uncooked food like fruits with salt or potash before eating,” Bile advised.