Cholera Outbreaks In Otukpo, Benue State, 20 hospitalised


cholera1An outbreak of cholera has been reported in the Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue with 20 people now in hospital.

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The Chairman of the Local Government, Dr Innocent Onuh, confirmed the outbreak of the disease.

Onuh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Otukpo that the disease had claimed several lives, while 20 children had been hospitalised.

He attributed the outbreak of the disease to a lack of portable water in the area.

“For the past one month, Otukpo residents do not have portable water.

“The water works is no longer pumping water as the staff have refused to work to press for payment of their salaries.

“As a result of this, cholera epidemic has hit the Local Government.

“People are dying and over 20 children are currently on admission at the General Hospital, Otukpo.

“As for the number of deaths, I cannot specifically tell you now because most of the cases are being recorded in the hinterlands.

“But we are also collaborating with the State Government to stem the disease.

“I can assure you that we are on top of the situation.

“People are also receiving treatment at few private hospitals in the town,’’ he said.

The chairman appealed to residents to always boil water before drinking to check spread of the disease.

Onuh said that the council had commenced free distribution of necessary drugs to hospitals to treat patients.

“Apart from that, we have also intensified public enlightenment around the town, informing the people of the need for them to boil their water before drinking,’’ he said.

A cross-section of the residents appealed to the State Government to intervene urgently to prevent further deaths.

A resident, Mrs Joy Audu, told NAN on telephone that the outbreak of the disease in villages could spread to urban areas if it was not tackled.

“This epidemic started in Otukpo town few weeks ago, the ailment has continued to spread to other parts of the council and the fear is that it is becoming excessively prevalent.

“Casualties are on the increase, there is hardly a day that we do not hear of new death cases and people being taken to the hospital.

“The situation in the villages is alarming, people are dying and nobody seems to be talking about it,’’ she said.

Reacting to the development, the General Manager of the Benue State Water Board, Mr Michael Dzungu, said that the board was working hard to restore normal water supply to Otukpo.

“We are not on strike, all our salaries have been paid up to date.

“It is CGC Nigeria Ltd., who are operating the Katsina-Ala and Otukpo Water Works that had refused to pump water to press the government to fulfil contract terms.

“The situation would soon be under control as the State Government had already started discussing with the contractors,’’ Dzungu said.

NAN also reports that the people of Katsina-Ala and Otukpo had no portable water for the past one month, following the suspension of work by the contractor handling the water works in the areas. (NAN)

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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