No fewer than 30 persons have been reported dead in Bayelsa state following the outbreak of Cholera water borne epidemic which broke out about two weeks ago in Sagbama and Southern Ijaw local government areas in the state.
Medical doctors in the state who are battling to contain the health crisis complain that the inadequate supply of potable water was one of the major reasons for the acuteness of the disease.
Water vendors locally referred to as ‘meruwa’ were the major source of water supply at the Federal Medical Center in Yenagoa.
“Can you imagine a situation where hospital authorities have to buy water from vendors who supply water in tankers. And yet nobody knows how hygienic the vendors’ water supply is in the first place,” a doctor said.
The situation is reportedly getting out of hand leading to more casualties due to lack of proactive measures to curtail the outbreak.
Eight victims were from the communities of Osiama and Ekede in Sagbama, the local government area of Governor Seriake Dickson, while twelve victims hailed from Southern Ijaw.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Ayiabatonye Owei, confirmed the cholera outbreak but did not state the number of casualties already recorded.
Also, one of the doctors involved in the anti-cholera effort described the commissioner’s reluctance to release death figures as evidence of “insincerity of the government to deal with the epidemic.”
“Unless the relevant health agencies wake up to their responsibilities, the situation is likely to become critically worse, with more patients dying needlessly,” a doctor added.