The Plateau State Ministry of Health on Monday disclosed that 167 cases of cholera had been recorded with eight deaths since May, in two local government areas.
Ibrahim Gontur, the Director of Primary Healthcare and Disease Control, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos.
Gontur said 134 cases and six deaths were recorded in Jos North, while Jos South had 33 cases with two deaths.
The director, however, said there was no reported cases of cholera in Langtang North Local Government Area.
According to him, the ministry only received reports that 33 people were receiving treatment in various health facilities over cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, with four deaths recorded.
He said the ministry had already sent its rapid response team, led by the state epidemiologist, to the area, with preposition drugs.
The director assured the public that the ministry would intensify proactive steps to contain any further outbreak.
Gontur said the outbreak of the diseases was due to the workers’ strike, which led to scarcity of potable water.
He also blamed the epidemic on the heaps of refuse that littered the streets and many neighbourhoods, which served as breeding ground for vectors.
He said: “With the onset of the rainy season, such dirt was washed into various water sources, which possibly led to the outbreak.”
Gontur said the ministry had put measures in place to contain the incidence and to reduce deaths, adding that cases of cholera outbreaks were usually rampant between March and September.
He said: “We have conducted community dialogue to inform people on factors that can lead to the possible outbreak of cholera.
“We also have our surveillance teams in all the 17 local government areas.
“We have advised council officials to have drugs for emergencies and the need for people to maintain personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.”
Gontur urged people to cook their food thoroughly and boil or treat their drinking water.
The director also advised them to wash their fruits with salt water or vinegar and imbibe the culture of washing hands with soap or ash.
“They must also keep their toilets or latrines and the environment clean and avoid open defecation,” Gontur added.