Gastroenteritis has so far claimed the lives of 39 persons in the last three weeks in 18 out of the 23 local government areas of Sokoto State, a top government official has confirmed.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ali Inname, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Sunday while giving an update on the gastroenteritis epidemic ravaging the state.
According to Inname, 23 out of the casualties were recorded in the first two weeks of the epidemic, while the remaining 16 deaths were recorded in the past one week.
He stated that Yabo, Dange/Shuni and Gwadabawa Local Government Areas have continued to record active cases of the disease.
The commissioner however explained that most of the local governments that had recorded the initial cases of the disease were now passive, with almost zero cases.
Inname noted that although the situation has not been completely brought under control, the state government had since swung into action to effectively tame the epidemic.
The commissioner disclosed that his ministry has constituted three rapid response teams that were already fully operational.
Inname further averred that the state government had stockpiled adequate intravenous fluids, drugs and other related medicaments which were being distributed to all the affected local governments.
He also said that the ministry was conducting a statewide immunisation against gastroenteritis as part of efforts to stem the tide of the disease.
He said: “Scientifically, this problem may not completely abate until the current raining season subsides.
“So, there is the need for the people of the state to continue to ensure personal and environmental hygiene as well as heed to all medical advice issued by the health professionals.”
Inname acknowledged the technical support of international organisations like the World Health Organiation, UNICEF and Medicines Sans Frontiers, towards the current sustained efforts to totally contain the epidemic. (NAN)