By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – Fresh facts has on Monday emerged that so far 29 persons were confirmed dead – 17 of cholera and 12 of diarrhea and vomiting outbreaks – that struck the state.
The Commissioner of Health, Hajiya Mariatu Bala Usman confirmed this to Vanguard correspondent while giving an update on the outbreaks recorded in the state.
It would be recalled that Vanguard had earlier reports that 11 died of cholera outbreak in the state.
The Commissioner said the state government has before now putting in place proactive measure as the sum of N70 million was so far released this year for Communicable Diseases Control such as CSM, Diarrhea and vomiting among others.
According to Hajiya Mariatu, “We do have a Cholera outbreak in Katsina. We have surveillance system across the 34 LGAs. The Disease surveillance and notification officers work directly with the Primary Health Care Development Agency responsible for the managing of outbreaks like these. They have been on alert since the first case in Kusada.
“Currently, we have cases of Diarrhea and Vomiting in about Seven LGAs. 180 persons were affected by the diarrhea and vomiting outbreak and we recorded 12 deaths. Seven (7) local governments were affected. It includes Funtua, Kaita, Jibia, Kankia, Ingawa, Kusada and Katsina.
“Government has procured emergency drugs for the 34 LGAs and released to the PHC at the LGAs for onward distribution to the drugs to affected areas. We are proposing to procure chlorine for the 34 LGAs to safeguard their water because we realise the cause is from consumption and drinking of contaminated water and consumption of contaminated foods or vegetables.
“Our religion teaches and encourages that we visit a sick patient in the hospital and it attracts reward but we are discouraging and advising the people to desist from visiting patients with diarrhea and vomiting until he or she gets better.
“Adequate steps have been taken to curtail the spread including public enlightenment, live phone in radio tv programs, on the spot assessment by State Epidemiologist and his team, provision of drugs and commodities for the treatment of patients free of charge. Intensive radio and tv jingles are scheduled to commence this week InshaAllah,” Hajiya Mariatu said.
Initial information gathered by Vanguard shows that five died in Funtua and six in Kusada with an additional of five other death recorded in Jibia.
In a related development and following the outbreak of Cholera that hit some local governments in Katsina state, the State House of Assembly has directed it committee on health to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outbreak.
The decision followed the motion by member representing Funtua constituency, and an affected LGA, Hon. Ahmad Abubakar before the house at it Monday plenary sitting.
Presiding over the house, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Shehu Dalhatu referred the matter to its committee for swift interventions.
Earlier, member representing Funtua Constituency, Hon. Ahmad Abubakar called for swift and immediate intervention by the government and relevant authorities to save lives of people of his constituent from dying.
Abubakar said already over 50 persons were already hospitalized while highlighting areas affected include Maska, Goya, Dikke and some parts of Funtua local government areas.
His counterpart and member representing Matazu constituency, Hon. Ibrahim Dikko however stressed the need for the outbreak to be taken with seriousness to curtail it spread and future occurrence.