The Lagos State Government has advised the public to maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene as part of precautionary measures to prevent outbreak of cholera epidemic in the state.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who made the call in a statement on Sunday in Lagos said there was a need to ensure high standard of hygiene at all times, following suspected outbreak of the epidemic in some states in the country.
It explained that cholera was an acute contagious bacterial disease characterised by severe form of sudden painless watery stools, nausea and profuse vomiting.
The statement also said that cholera was acquired through the ingestion of an infective dose of contaminated food or water that could be transmitted through many mechanisms like direct or indirect contamination of water or food by faeces of infected individuals.
“Cholera should be suspected in any person who develops diarrhea with or without vomiting, weakness, restlessness, irritability, dry mucous membrane, low blood pressure, leg cramps and excessive loss of body fluids (dehydration),” the statement said.
“Or any person who dies from frequent stooling. Adequate measures should be taken in order to reduce the risk of contracting the disease,’’ it added.
The statement urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected case — dead or alive, to the nearest health facility and the directorate of disease control in the state Ministry of Health.
It listed measures to be taken to include, washing of hands with soaps and water frequently and thoroughly and boiling of water before drinking.
According the statement, other important measure include, washing of fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, cooking of food thoroughly, disposing of waste material properly, and keeping of water containers clean.
It warned that in the case of suspected cholera, members of the public should prepare oral rehydration solution and thereafter visit the nearest hospital.
It advised the public to ensure they avoided possible back flow connection between water and the sewage system.
The statement added that government had already evolved an inter-ministerial collaboration involving the Ministries of Health, Environment and Information, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and Lagos State Water Corporation.
It said that health and environmental status assessment of prone communities was ongoing.
According to the statement, emergency preparedness and response (EPR) committees at local governments and state levels had been sensitised on preparedness and response to cholera outbreak.
Part of Sunday’s statement read in part: “Government has also purchased and distributed to all health centres in LGs, drugs for the management of the disease.
“Healthcare workers in both public and private hospitals are also being sensitised on surveillance and management of cholera.
“Fact sheet and information, enlightenment and communication materials on disease have been distributed to all health workers in public hospitals.
“Health education and public enlightenment on personal and environmental hygiene in epidemic prone communities have also been intensified,’’ it noted.
The statement urged health workers to be on the alert and report suspected outbreak of more than five cases in their facilities to the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
“People can also call the following numbers: 08023169485 or 0802321333 for assistance,’’ the statement advised the public.