Oyo State Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, declared that there is no evidence to back recent claims of a cholera outbreak in Lagun Village of Lagelu Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Ministry, which submitted the report of its technical committee that investigated the matter, said in a report signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir V. Bello, that the claims of cholera outbreak were unfounded.
The report, titled "Re: Rumours of suspected cholera outbreak in Lagelu LGA of Oyo State," indicated that investigations by the state’s Epidemiological Team, including the DSNO and LGA Teams in Lagelu and surrounding LGAs, showed there is no evidence to back such rumour.
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted the Commissioner as saying that the team dispatched to carry out the investigation, was also not shown any fresh grave or fresh burial ground to ascertain claims of mass death.
It stated, however, that the Ministry had placed pre-positioned antibiotics and intravenous fluids at the state’s health facility in Lagun to prevent an outbreak of cholera in the area.
The Commissioner added that the state has also begun an active case search in affected communities and neighbouring states as well as community engagement and enlightenment on the prevention of diarrheal diseases including cholera.
The statement further quoted the Commissioner as explaining that findings from the field showed that the ailment recorded affected only four individuals and not 10 people as claimed in the media and that there was no evidence to back the claim of six deaths.
He maintained that the ailment could be ascribed to poor hygienic conditions, adding that the Ministry also suspected cases of gastroenteritis or likely food poisoning.
The report stated: "The Ministry of Health received reports of suspected cases of cholera in Lagun Village on Friday, 6th of November, 2020. Following the notification, the state and the LGA surveillance network began intensified action at investigation and response, and findings from the field investigation are as follow:
"Ten (10) cases of diarrhoea and vomiting were reported to have occurred in Lagun Village by members of the community. Six of the cases were said to have died.
"But, upon investigation, no freshly dug graves were found in the said community and we only found two cases at Faith Clinic, Ejioku, and another two cases at the Lagun Rehabilitation Centre both private hospitals.
"All four cases are alive and are no longer stooling, therefore, stool samples could not be collected from them for confirmation of the aetiological agent (causative), while they have also been treated and stabilised.
"We observed poor sanitary conditions in the village, as the wells were not covered and were in poor sanitary conditions.
"We hereby confirm that with the active efforts of the state epidemiologist and his team (DNSO, LGA Team in the affected LGA and neighbouring LGAs), no real death attributable to cholera had been confirmed.
"The reported deaths were neither seen nor traceable and, therefore, cannot be attributed to cholera outbreak, as no patient within the community actually reported to any government or local government facility in the said local government.
"The ailment recorded (and deaths, if any) could be ascribed to very poor hygienic conditions and we suspect cases of gastroenteritis or likely food poisoning in the affected community."
Speaking on preventive steps already taken by the Ministry, Bello added: "We have pre-positioned antibiotics and intravenous fluids at the General Hospital, Lagun, for care of emerging cases.
"The Ministry has also embarked on community engagement and enlightenment on prevention of diarrheal diseases including cholera.
"We have also embarked on active search in affected communities and neighbouring communities and have also alerted the neighbouring local government areas."