JOE Akabuike, the Anambra State commissioner for Health, has deployed `A Rapid Response Team’ to assess reported cases of gastrointestinal and cholera outbreak in Inoma Anambra West Local Government Area.
The team has been tasked to stem the spread as well as recommend measures at containing any replication.
The team is led by Adaora Ejikeme, the State Disease Surveillance Officer, SDSNO, accompanied by Didien Gbofemi, the state UNICEF consultant.
It has been gathered that on arrival, they visited victims of the outbreak and collected stool samples from three patients and tested them using the Cholera RDT kits.
Eleven patients – five boys and six girls – within the age bracket of one to 10-year old, had since been admitted into the only health facility there.
The patients showed symptoms of excessive stooling, vomiting, acute dehydration and malnutrition.
The team also went through active case search through the health facility’s register, followed by sensitisation and education of the members of the community.
They also took them through the prevention and control measures of cholera through proper hand washing, maintenance of personal and community hygiene.
As part of the intervention to control of the outbreak, the team supplied antimicrobial medicines such as Doxycycline tablets, flagyl infusions, flagly tablets, ciprofloxacin tabs, ciprotabinfussions, ceptraxone injections.
Others are amoxil suspension, zincfant, ORS, dextrose saline infusion, normal saline infusion, paracetamol.
They also gave out sets of water guard, needles and syringes and bags of water to the Inoma Health facility.
The team later paid a courtesy visit to Igwe Emmanuel Oluta the traditional ruler of Inoma Community, to sensitise him and his cabinet and other members of the community on the prevention and control measures for cholera.
A doctor and two nurses were also immediately deployed to the community to assist in management of the cases.
It has been gathered that within weeks, they had been able to put the situation under control and helped in caring for other patients.
A preliminary report released by the Rapid Response Team, showed that the main source of drinking water for the community is the contaminated stream.
Their report also noted that some unhygienic practices among community members seem to be contributory factor to spread of disease.
They noted that for instance, mothers after evacuating stools of their child, begin to feed them without properly washing of their hands.
The team also found that community health centre had no proper toilet facilities while patients on drip were taken outside with their lines on, to urinate or defecate openly.
The report also showed that a borehole dug by state government had been non-functional.
Other challenges include indiscriminate defecation in bushes and stream and compounded by poor state of the health centre.
There were also inadequate or no health equipment as the place had only two beds with some patients sleeping on bare floors.
The facility had a nurse and no doctor on posting there.
The team, however, recommended that the community’s borehole be repaired urgently or new one sunk, and facility rehabilitated to meet the needs of the community.
They recommended immediate posting of a doctor to visit the health centre at least once every month.
– Dec. 6, 2017 @ 18:00 GMT /