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Cholera: Death toll rises to 37 as Lagos records 401 cases



A severe cholera outbreak has claimed the lives of 21 individuals in Lagos State, with 401 suspected cases reported, marking an alarming public health emergency. The outbreak, which has spread across multiple local government areas (LGAs), has led to a surge in severe gastroenteritis cases.

Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, revealed that the hardest-hit areas include Lagos Island, Kosofe, Ikorodu, and Eti Osa. She noted, “The rise in cases was anticipated following the Ileya festivities, during which large gatherings occurred.”

Despite the grim statistics, Ogunyemi assured that the state government’s interventions are beginning to show results, with suspected cases starting to decline in previously affected LGAs. The government, in collaboration with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), continues rigorous surveillance, collecting samples of water, food, and beverages to pinpoint contamination sources.

Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, Managing Director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), emphasized the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene and proper waste disposal. “Ensuring proper personal and domestic hygiene, including efficient waste management, will go a long way in curbing the spread of this fatal disease,” he stated.

Efforts to control the outbreak include the distribution of Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) and the activation of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre at Mainland Hospital, Yaba. The Lagos Water Corporation has also launched a comprehensive water quality monitoring campaign to ensure access to safe drinking water.

Residents are urged to seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever. The state government has assured that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reaffirmed his commitment to quality and affordable healthcare for all residents. The state government extends its gratitude to local, national, and international partners, including UNICEF, WHO, NCDC, NIMR, and the Red Cross, for their support in combating the outbreak.

The ongoing cholera crisis underscores the urgent need for improved sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as robust public health infrastructure, to prevent future outbreaks and safeguard the health of Lagos residents.