No fewer than 61 persons have been confirmed killed in an outbreak of cholera in Yobe State.
The latest outbreak comes less than three months after the state was declared cholera free.
The Yobe State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Bello Kawuwa, in a statement in Damaturu, the state capital, on Friday said laboratory tests have verified some cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea as being caused by Vibrio bacterae, the bacteria that causes cholera.
Kawuwa said 906 cases of the AWD has been recorded from July to September 17, 2018 in five local government areas of Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu, Fune, Potiskum and Nangere.
He attributed the huge death toll to delay in reporting the cases, especially from the rural areas.
He said: “As a result, over 795 patients were successfully treated and discharged, 50 are still on admission in various health facilities across the state. Unfortunately, we lost 61 patients mainly due to delays in timely reporting to the healthcare facilities for life saving treatment.
“It pains us so much that the state has lost its dear sons and daughters. We assure all citizens that we will try our best to preserve their lives.”
Kawuwa said the state Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation is working tirelessly with laboratories in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State and Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Abuja to verify the cause of the AWD outbreak.
He also blamed some of the cases of the outbreak on bad hygiene, sanitation and lack of safe drinking water due to the last heavy downpours.
He called on stakeholders, including all health and sector partners, religious and traditional leaders as well as citizens to join hands with the concerned ministries to ensure that the outbreak is contained within a shortest time, while also charging the international and humanitarian partners, the UN agencies, international and local NGOs, to bring their full expertise to bear on the cholera response effort in the state.