Kwara denies mystery deaths from alleged disease outbreak

Date: 2017-08-12

The Kwara State government has denied reports of an alleged outbreak of a mystery illness that claimed 70 lives in Oro-Ago community in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state. The state’s Commissioner for Health, Suleiman Alege, told journalists in Ilorin that the reported outbreak was a mere rumour, insisting that the state health ministry had not confirmed any outbreak in any part of the state.

The Oloro of Oro-Ago, Oba Tafa Dada and the president, Oro-Ago Development Union, Olaniyi Olushola, raised an alarm on a strange illness in the community, especially among the Bororos which claimed many lives.

Olushola said many people had died as a result of the illness within two weeks, adding that it had been reported to the state Ministry of Health in Ilorin, through one Dr Lawal. He noted that the Oro-Ago General Hospital had been abandoned and that the community currently has no functional health centre.

The commissioner for health noted that there are epidemiological systems for reporting suspected disease outbreaks in the state and if any occurs, the health response team would be the first to know and is always ready to swing into action.

Alege recalled that when there were reported cases of cholera in some communities in the state, the government immediately deployed emergency kits to the affected areas and also started vaccination in most of the state primary healthcare centers to check an epidemic.

He noted that immediately after the rumour of the strange disease broke last week Thursday, the Ministry of Health deployed a team under the department of public health to the Gaa Okuta community along Oke-ode road axis in Ifelodun Local Government Area and found no evidence of any strange illness or casualties.

He disclosed that members of the community also insisted that there was no disease outbreak in the area.

The Ifelodun council chairman, Alhaji Mukaila Omoniyi Ayinla, said reports of the alleged outbreak In Oro Ago community were false and should be disregarded. He said the council was working on posting a new medical team to the primary health care facility in the area, following the transfer of staff at the facility.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control continues to monitor outbreaks across the country. Its latest epidemiology report indicates 393 new cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) but none was confirmed as polio.

Eighty-one suspected cases of cholera were reported from eight local government areas in five states. Only three passed through laboratory confirmation and three people died.

At least suspected cases of meningitis have been reported in 10 states since NCDC declared the outbreak over, but none was confirmed and no death was recorded.

281 suspected cases of measles have been reported from 33 states but none was confirmed and no death was recorded.

The most recent update on Lassa fever is the five cases recorded in Plateau, four of which tested positive. Others have been reported since then in Yobe and Lagos with deaths of patients, prompting placement of hundreds of possible contacts under watch.

A total of 344 cases suspected to be Lassa fever have been reported in the first 29 weeks of this year.


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