Deaths Increase to 21, Infections 401 in Lagos Cholera Outbreak

June 20, 2024

The Lagos State Government says the number of deaths from cholera outbreak in the state has increased from 15 to 21, while infections increased to 401 from 350.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, said the rise in cases was anticipated, following the Eid-el Kabir celebration, in which large gatherings occurred.

Ogunyemi disclosed in an update released by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, director, Public Affairs in the state’s Ministry of Health on Thursday in Lagos.

She said the cases increased to 401 across Lagos, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recording the highest numbers of infections.

Ogunyemi, however, noted that suspected cases were subsiding across local government areas (LGAs), particularly in previously affected LGAs due to state government’s interventions and surveillance efforts.

She gave the update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC).

“The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), continues to collect samples of water sources, food, and beverages to identify the source of contamination.

“We have also intensified our surveillance activities in communities, particularly in affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education to ensure all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and scholars as they return.

“Residents must, however, remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene, and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera,” she said.

Ogunyemi advised citizens to seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise and fever.

She added that treatment for cholera was provided free of charge at all public health facilities.

Ogunyemi reiterated the state government’s commitment to ensuring that residents of Lagos receive quality and affordable health care.

The special adviser commended local, national, and international partners—including UNICEF, WHO, NCDC, NIMR, Red Cross, and others—for their support in combating the outbreak.

“Appreciation is also extended to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists, environmental health officers, Water Corporation officers, surveillance officers, heads of agencies, members of PHEOC, and volunteers who are working around the clock to combat the disease and keep Lagos safe,” Ogunyemi said.

Lagos on June 11 alerted residents that the state had recorded an excess report of severe gastroenteritis cases.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on June 15 disclosed that laboratory tests had confirmed that the outbreak was due to cholera with the identified strain being highly aggressive and contagious, with potential for widespread transmission.

Abayomi disclosed that 350 suspected cases of cholera were reported in 29 wards across multiple LGAs in the state.

According to him, there were 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation at health facilities.

Data from Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that Nigeria recorded over 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in over 30 deaths from January 1 to June 11, 2024 in 30 states.

Credit: NAN