Medical authorities in Plateau have confirmed an outbreak of cholera in Namu village in the Qua’pan Local Government Area of the state.
Namu, a village at the Plateau and Nasarawa States border, hosts displaced people in the violent crisis that broke out in the Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
“Yes, there has been an outbreak of cholera in Namu village, eight people have been killed while 61 others have been hospitalised,” the Plateau State Epidemiologist, Dr Raymond Yuryit, said in Namu on Sunday.
Yuryit spoke when he received Alhaji Alhassan Barde, the Executive Secretary of the Plateau State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who had gone to assess the situation. He said that those hospitalised had been diagnosed with the disease and had been admitted into various health centres.
Juryit attributed the outbreak to overcrowding, dirty environment and the consumption of unhygienic food and water.
He described cholera as a “deadly disease” that could kill “within the shortest possible time because its dehydrates the victim, leading to severe gastro-intestinal impact”.
The medical expert explained further that the Namu victims suffered chronic diarrhoea and vomiting, saying that many had been hit by the disease before government intervened.
The specialist said that the epidemic was not altogether a surprise as the area had lots of internally displaced persons from Nasarawa State, a development that had put much pressure on the environment and portable drinking water.
“But we are happy that the situation is already under control,” he said.
The epidemiologist explained that he had advised health workers in private and government health centres on ways to avert a recurrence of the ailment and also on how to quickly manage the situation if it arose.
The Nasarawa State government yesterday expressed shock at the number of displaced persons at the internally displaced persons’ camp in Namu, a settlement in Plateau State, after a government exercise returned them to Assakio, from where they were displaced.
Assakio and other settlements of Obi and Adaby Alago in Nasarawa State were attacked by armed men, causing the displacement of thousands.
The State’s Deputy Governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, on September 27, led armed soldiers and policemen to Assakio to resettle the returning displaced persons.
But the same displaced persons the government claimed had returned to their sacked homes in Assakio and environs were at the weekend said to have been hit by cholera in Namu.
A report said eight people have died of cholera and 61 others have been hospitalised in various health facilities in Plateau State.
Executive Secretary of Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) Dr. Abdullahi Idris who was part of those who visited Namu, told Daily Trust that the state government was shocked that there were still displaced persons in Namu.
He said quite a significant number of displaced persons were found in Namu during the weekend visit.
He said over 7,000 Nasarawa persons were displaced to the Plateau village, but added: “We returned them to Assakio and commenced processes to aid them to rebuild.”
“Government returned them to Assakio, and we only found out about their return to Namu after the outbreak of the disease,” he said.
He also denied that the people were hit by cholera, saying they were suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea. “Erratic assessment tests on the field indicated that there was cholera subject to vomiting and diarrhoea. But the diagnosis was not complete, and is subject to further investigation. Three samples, one from a displaced person, and two from Namu people have been taken for further investigation,” he said.