Cholera Kills 20



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About 20 persons, including
women and children have died, following a fresh cholera outbreak in
Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
The epidemic had also left about 300  persons hospitalised across several hospitals in the state capital.

A visit by journalists to the state University Teaching Hospital
(BSUTH), Joluwa Hospital, Madona Hospital and several others in Makurdi
town, showed that majority of the patients on admission showed symptoms
of the diseases, which included stooling and vomiting.
At Joluwa Hospital, Dr. Adole Victor, told  journalists that in the
last two weeks, the hospital had been admitting close to four cholera
patients on a daily basis.
“We started noticing patients with symptoms of the diseases in the last
two weeks. The situation intensified a week ago. At a point, we were
admitting at least four patients on a daily basis.
“In fact, it got to a situation when 80 per cents of out patients were
cholera victims; at a point, our facilities became over stretched and
there were no bed space for new patients,” he said.
He added, that majority of the patients who manifested the disease were
residents of the Wadata area of the town which is a known slum that is
bordered by River Benue.
The medical doctor, however, noted that officials of the state Ministry
of Health, including the state’s epidemiologist had visited and
extended some medical assistance to the hospital.
“We have received free intravenous fluids, antibiotics and other drugs to assist hospitals combat the outbreak,” he said.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Health and Human Services,
Dr. Orduen Abunku, said his ministry had from last Wednesday recorded
six deaths as a result of the disease.
“When we started visiting the hospitals in town last Wednesday, we
discovered six deaths, but as for the number of infected patients, I
cannot give you that for now,” he noted.
Abunku, who stressed that the ministry had issued a warning to
residents of the town to ensure environmental cleanliness, added that
residents must also ensure that they boil their water before drinking.
The epidemic had recently hit Otukpo and its environs last year but
health officials in the state had denied the situation despite several
death recorded.


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