No fewer than 17 persons have reportedly lost their lives in some Anambra State communities due to a disease outbreak suspected to be cholera.
The affected areas are in the Anambra West Local Government Area of the state. It was learnt that the affected communities included Igbedor, Nzam, Umuenwenum Anam and Ode.
Nine persons reportedly died of the disease in Igbedor, three in Nzam, three in Umuenwelum and two in Ode community.
A community leader in one of the communities, Cyprian Akpofe, told newsmen that “the community usually experiences cholera around this time of the year, annually.
“It’s pure cholera. All those that died exhibited all symptoms of cholera before they died. It’s pure cholera. It happens here annually.”
But the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, who led some officials of the ministry to the council area, said the deaths recorded in the area was not that of cholera outbreak as being speculated.
He noted that the disease was as a result of the recent flood disaster that submerged most buildings and farmlands in the area.
The commissioner blamed the residents for seeking solution through traditional means, including going to herbalists rather than accessing health facilities as appropriate.
He said “What we have in Anambra West is not cholera outbreak as being speculated.
“What we have is diarrhoea disease that usually occurs after flooding, characterized by vomiting and other signs but what is important to us is not necessarily the name but the worry that people are dying.
“We are here to tell them that this is a pure environmental challenge. I am here with a complete team and lots of drug.”
The health commissioner said governor Willie Obiano had approved money to ensure the situation was arrested to prevent further deaths.
He added, “They should maintain personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly. They die because they seek a solution where it will never come from.
“We will make arrangement to ensure that more drugs are sent to them and immediate construction of a borehole to solve their water needsdp.”