Palpable tension has soaked Igala speaking areas of Anambra West Local Government Area in Anambra State as outbreak of diarrhea allegedly claimed over 17 lives.
Reports indicate that affected communities include Igbedor where nine persons died, Nzam (three), as Umuenwelum lost three persons with over 10 cases reported and Ode where two persons lost their lives.
The incident of cholera outbreak in some parts of Anambra State went viral on the social media which claimed that over 50 persons lost their lives to the epidemic, a report that set the State government on their toes.
Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, who went to the area on Sunday for on the spot assessment with team of medical doctors and health workers said the people die of diarrhea (Gastro Antaritis) and not cholera outbreak as being speculated.
Akabuike who visited and sent drugs including ORS and other medical assistance to the centre said Governor Willie Obiano is committed to improving the health care services of citizens in the state.
He addressed stakeholders from the area including the Presidents General of the affected communities, ward councilors from the area, health officers, political appointees and transition committee chairman of the local Government, Mr. Sylvester Ojiokafor, among others.
Akabuike noted that the diarrhea was consequent upon the recession of the recent flooding that submerged most buildings and farmlands in the area while blaming the residents for seeking solution to their health challenges using traditional means and herbalists rather than access health facilities in the area.
“What we have in Anambra West is not cholera outbreak as being speculated. What we have is diarrhea disease that usually occur after flooding, characterize by vomiting and other signs but what is important to us is not necessarily the name but worried that people are dying.
“We are here to tell them that this is a pure environmental challenge. I am here with a complete team and lots of drug and the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has really approved money to make sure we arrest any further death on this. They should maintain personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly. They die because they seek solution where it will never come from. We will make arrangement to ensure that more drugs are sent to them and immediate construction of a borehole to solve their water needs,” he added.
Earlier, the President General of Innoma Community, Mr. Patrick Ugboja, Emeka Onwelo from Igbedor, Uzor Isreal from Ala, and Christopher Chife from Ode told the health commissioner that the communities started recording deaths in the area since November when the signs of cholera like vomiting and diarrhea started manifesting in the communities but thanked the state government for the quick intervention.