No fewer than 76 persons lost their lives in Ebonyi state to the dreaded Cholera disease outbreak that ravaged 38 communities in 11 local government areas for five months last year.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umuzuruike stated this Wednesday in Abakaliki.
He said that apart from the 76 deaths from Cholera, 14 other patients died of Lassa fever.
The Commissioner stated that there is no more case of Cholera outbreak in the State even throughout the dry season and assured that the ministry would continue to sustain the surveillance effort to avert its recurrences.
He said: “upon assumption office, I was welcomed with the outbreak of cholera which actually started in February, 2015 and had claimed many lives before my assumption of office, we quickly mobilized our Surveillance and Response Team to all the places discovered to have been ravaged by the disease.
“With the help and logistics support of the State Governor, Chief David Umahi, we were able to control the five months old epidemic within 2 weeks. Prior to our intervention, the deadly disease killed over 76 people, affected 38 communities and 11 out of 13 LGAs of Ebonyi state and used to recur on regular basis especially during the dry seasons.”
The Commissioner also dismissed rumors of another outbreak of guinea worm in the state.
According to him, the ministry quickly mobilized its response and surveillance teams to all those sites that the rumors emanated from and after conducting tests none of those cases were confirmed to be guinea worm.
“We also collected samples from the ponds and Cyclops isolated, preserved and sent for DNA analysis, so there is no confirmed case of guinea worm anywhere in Ebonyi State.”
Dr. Umezuruike said that the virology center approved for construction by the State Governor, Chief David Umahi is at 95% completion while all the equipments needed for the center has been paid for and would arrive the state this week.
“As I address you, the Virology Center is almost completed and all equipment for the take off of the center has been procured. The prevalence rate has drastically reduced as they are minimal cases and we promise Ebonyi people that the government would continue to put in professional competence to ensure that it is totally eradicated”.
The Commissioner also stated that the state Governor graciously approved and gave the ministry the mandate to complete and upgrade the renovation and reconstruction of the 13 General Hospitals starting with 6, 2 per senatorial zone not minding the drastic reduction in the monthly Federal allocation to the state.
He said that the ministry has also been mandated to upgrade 171 primary Health Centers starting with 65, 5 per LGA and to also ensure the construction of the State Drug Distribution Center which he said would soon kick-off immediately some of the lacuna created by contract issue are cleared.
According to Dr. Umezuruike, the Governor has also approved the procurement of Cerumo Cell Harvester machine worth N10 million and which was donated to the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki for the separation of blood into different components.