Bayelsa: 30 Dead in Cholera Outbreak… From Lack of Potable Water

Arodiegwu Eziukwu

No less that 30 deaths have been recorded in Bayelsa following the outbreak of Cholera in the state, a health official in the state has told PREMIUM TIMES.

Investigations indicate that the lack of potable water, one of the major causes of the disease, is acute even in Public Health Institutions.

At the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, water vendors – mai-ruwa – remains the dominant source of water supply.

The cholera outbreak was reported two weeks ago in Sagbama and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas but it was gathered that the situation escalated following the poor handling of the epidemic.

Out of the 30, dead, eight victims were from Osiama and Ekede in Sagbama, the local government of Governor Seriake Dickson, while twelve others hailed from Southern Ijaw, the local council of the Bayelsa House of Assembly Speaker, Kombowei Benson.

The Commissioner for Health, Ayiabatonye Owei, confirmed the outbreak, but declined to give figures; a development that casts doubts on the sincerity of the government to deal with the epidemic.

Sources in the affected communities in Sagbama and Southern Ijaw council areas said that victims who stooled and vomited before death were hurriedly buried by their families to forestall further infection.

They urged the government and other relevant agencies to urgently provide potable water to the affected communities.