By Ann Ngbea
Following the recent outbreak of cholera in some parts of Benue which has claimed some lives and has bedridden others, Ministry of Health and Human Services has provided medical consumables to General Hospital Obagaji, Agatu Local Government and Primary Health Care Centre, Abinsi, Guma Local Government, in response to the outbreak.
The commodities were cartons of Ringer Lactate IV fluids, canula, Doxycycline and Cypro antibiotics, Zinc tablets, water guard, ORS, drips, adhesive plaster, rolls of cotton wool and packs of syringes.
Presenting the items to the management of the hospital and primary health care centre, Commissioner, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Andrew Amee and Director Public Health, Dr Terna Kur, said the prompt response was to ensure effective treatment and efforts to curb the spread of the cholera outbreak.
Dr Ngbea promised provision of test kits to the hospital immediately, to enhance testing and also called on the local government council to support medical teams to respond effectively for the good of the people and commiserated with Agatu people over the loss.
He called on prominent sons of the area to carry out free medical outreach at government facilities, in order to attend to health needs of their people and for them to know the facilities and urged the management of the hospital to formally present their demands for construction of perimeter fence renovation of the hospital and repair of the hospital ambulance for necessary attention.
In a remark, Permanent Secretary, Mr Amee pledged that the ministry would always live up to it responsibility and enjoined the council chairman and community leaders to mobilise their people to patronize the hospital where services were more effective and affordable.
On his part, Director, Public Health, Dr Kur urged the local government to coordinate health care in times of outbreak for proper handling and provide logistics support to Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer to enable him report health issues to the ministry for the benefit of the local government council and the people.
Speaking separately, Agatu Local Government council Chairman, Suleiman Adoyi, Chairman, Hospital Management Committee, Fadio Achegbani and Clan Head of Adogodi, Chief Edoh, thanked Governor Samuel Ortom and the Ministry of Health for intervening promptly to their health challenge.
Receiving the donation, Acting Medical Officer of General Hospital, Obagaji, Dr Adebo Oche who commended government’s prompt intervention, explained that a total of 51 cases of cholera were recorded from Obagaji, Alokpa, Edeje and Abube, with 7 deaths and a child was on admission.
In another development, the health commissioner, Dr Ngbea, called on people in riverine communities to avoid drinking water directly from rivers and streams to prevent outbreak of water borne diseases.
Dr Ngbea stated this during a visit to Primary Healthcare Centre and Vyonku clinic and maternity, all in Abinsi, Guma Local Government where four lives have been lost and other patients were being treated of cholera.
The commissioner warned people against drinking water from contaminated sources and encouraged boiling of water before drinking and use of water guard to purify drinking water, while those with cases of vomiting and stooling should visit a hospital without delay.
He directed for immediate supply of ten beds from treatment centre at the Benue University Teaching Hospital to contain the increasing cases of cholera outbreak in the area and deployment of pediatrician to monitor the protocol of dehydration for effective handling of the cases.
In a remark, Incident Manager, Emergency Operation Centre and State Epidemiologist, Dr Terungwa Ngishe explained that the cases were detected at Angwan Lanba, whose source of drinking water is the river and enjoined the people to take sanitation and personal hygiene seriously.
Also speaking, Kindred Head of Hausa-Kaba Community, Alhaji Danbala Labalan thanked the Governor and the Commissioner for the prompt intervention to the outbreak in the area and informed the team that they had an alert of a similar outbreak of the disease in Kaba community near New Bridge in Makurdi.
Responding, Chief Nursing Officer, Primary Healthcare Centre, Abinisi Mrs Janet Adzuu acknowledged that with the provided drugs, they can manage the cases better and expressed gratitude to the commissioner for the response.
Also speaking, the Medical Officer of Vyonku Clinic and Maternity, Dr Jibaniya Vyonku, said the facility has recorded 25 cases, discharged 17, lost three and five were on admission.