Cholera Outbreak Claims Over Ten Lives In Anambra
According to the two nurses attending to the emergency situation at Inoma Community Primary Health Centre, poor manpower had been a major challenge in containing the situation, as they had over 40 patients to manage at the same time.
The state commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, who had visited and sent drugs and other medical assistance to the center, also observed the poor staff strength and assured the centre that he would make immediate arrangement to ensure more nurses and doctors were posted to the affected community in addition to immediate construction of a borehole to meet the water needs of the people.
The tortuous and dusty way to Inoma community in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State gave an insight into the plight of the residents of the quiet agrarian community.
Though, the local government area is rich in untapped crude oil and natural gas and rated as having the highest oil reserves in the country, it is one of the poorest communities in Anambra State.
The cholera outbreak opened up the reality of the absence of basic amenities in the community.
The bore hole dug by the local government had run dry and the villagers’ only source of drinking water is a stagnant pool at Egoja that usually flows into Omabala River during rainy season but during dry season, it forms a puddle and becomes the community’s saving grace.
It served as drinking water and washing water.
The inevitable happened on January 16, when members of the community started manifesting signs of seeming epidemic. In no time it was clear that it was Cholera outbreak in which, at the last count, about 10 persons had died at the community Primary Health Center where they have only one nurse, Anthonia Udeagbara and a volunteer nurse, Carol Ogu from the neighboring Oroma Primary Health Center, a major challenge had been poor staff strength.
Inoma President General, Patric Ugboja and a clergy in the community, Reverend Princewill Mozie, complained of bad roads and lack of basic amenities which also contributed in aggravating the health issue.
Assistance from the state government contributed in no small measure to ameliorate the suffering of the people. According to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, the health ministry had supplied water and drugs to the primary health center and embarked on sensitising the community on sanitation with plans underway to send more health workers and to dig a borehole with immediate effect.
The Health Commissioner, having observed the poor work force in the community in his explanation that some of the communities in those hinterland are classified as hard to reach areas, assured the residents of a liaison between his ministry and state government to work out an onshore offshore arrangement where health workers, including doctors, would be visiting the areas on a weekly basis with additional compensation.