Following the death of three persons in Plateau State, due to the outbreak of cholera, the State Commissioner for Health, Kunden Deyin, has forwarded reasons for the avoidable death of the citizens of the state, which he ascribed to non-availability of the Rapid Response Diagnostic Kits.
Deyin, who confirmed the death of the three persons on Monday, said they died of cholera, out of 93 suspected cases in the state, without the availability of diagnostic kits to confirm their status of the disease before their passing out.
Cholera is known to be an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur.
The Commissioner further noted that lack of health workers in the public hospitals, to attend to the patients, due to the recently suspended strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) was also contributory to the mortality.
According to him,: “Initially, we had 93 suspected cases of cholera, however, three persons died without our confirming if they had the disease or not.
“Fortunately, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) provided us with Rapid Diagnostic Kits, with which we carried out test on five patients from the 90 suspected cases.
“Three test samples came out positive,’’ Deyin said.
Now that the strike is suspended, he expressed optimism that the outbreak would be contained with the suspension of the strike by JOHESU and with the provision of the test kits by the NCDC.
The commissioner has urged every member of the public to up their hygiene skill, by ensuring always washed their fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, adding that they should also boil their drinking water to kill the organism that caused cholera.
He also called on people to avoid indiscriminate dumping of waste, adding that cholera was a water-borne disease.