Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mustapha Jibrin, has said that 97 deaths have been recorded in 6,850 cases of cholera disease outbreak throughout the country this year.
Jibrin, while briefing newsmen on the recent outbreak of cholera in Niger State Wednesday said that the reported cases were from 20 states of the federation. He did not name the states.
He said Niger State recorded 74 cases with seven deaths contrary to the claim by the Bida Local Government in a statement on the issue on Monday that 10 lives were lost to the disease in Bida.
The commissioner, who gave a breakdown of the casualty figure, said that four deaths were recorded in Bida town, where the outbreak was first reported, while one death each was reported in Gbako, Katcha and Lavun Local Government Areas.
He explained that of the seven that died, five were between seven and 13 years old, while others were aged from 35 years and above.
He also refuted the claim by the Bida Local Government that there was only one medical doctor in the hospital, saying that there were six of such personnel in the employment of government in the town’s hospital.
Jibrin said that the ministry was investigating cases of gastroenteritis disease in two local government areas, Wushishi and Munya, adding that: “Tests of samples collected are yet to be released.”
He said the state government had released N25 million for the purchase of medical equipment and drugs to contain the disease, adding that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international donor agencies were providing technical supports in the campaign to stop the spread of the disease.
The commissioner also disclosed that the Federal Medical Centre, Bida has been selected as “a dedicated health institution” where patients were to be treated free of charge.