Rivers State Officials Dismiss Cholera Outbreak Claim

The Rivers State Government has categorically refuted the claims of a cholera outbreak and the alleged deaths in the Soku community within the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, asserting that the reports are baseless and without merit.

The government cautioned individuals and organizations against carrying out or planning health programs without informing the state ministry of health, highlighting that such actions would be investigated and dealt with accordingly.

This announcement was made by Dr. Adaeze Oreh, the State Commissioner for Health, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Chief Tony Okocha, the State Representative on the management board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, disclosed on Sunday that the commission was mobilizing medical supplies and provisions to the Soku community in light of the cholera outbreak, with the objective of halting further transmission of the disease.

Okocha stated, ‘At the last Board meeting in Uyo, I was able to move my colleagues in the Board to graciously approve immediate Health intervention to Soku and other satellite villages, stroke with Cholera and bad water-related ailments.’

‘I am proud to say that we have moved in to mitigate the debilitating effects of the disease and ensure it no longer spreads.’

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The commissioner emphasized that the current health initiative in the region, subtly alluding to NDDC involvement, is unrelated to the recent cholera outbreak.

Shedding light on the ongoing investigation, Dr. Oreh stressed that the team of public health officials dispatched to the region has not confirmed the reported incident or any deaths, urging individuals to disregard the circulated report.

The statement reads, ‘The Rivers State Ministry of Health has received numerous enquiries from the press regarding an alleged outbreak of cholera in the Soku community in Akuku Toru LGA.’

‘Cholera, which is a water-borne infectious disease, is a notifiable disease warranting escalating reports from disease surveillance and notification officers at the community level.’

‘Public health teams dispatched to investigate these alleged cases, and deaths have so far received no confirmation of such. The ongoing medical outreach in the Soku community is in no way related to any outbreak of cholera.’

‘Outreaches have always been a way of getting accessible healthcare to under-served and vulnerable populations. However, all such outreach activities must be conducted with approval from and in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health, and as such, no entity should be conducting outreaches outside the coordination of the Ministry.’

‘All infectious diseases of this nature are to be reported, managed, and escalated by the Rivers State Ministry of Health.’

It noted that the statement ought to be regarded as a stern warning to individuals engaging in or intending to conduct health-related initiatives without proper consultation with the Rivers State Ministry of Health.

They further stressed that any such initiatives discovered to be executed without the consent and clearance of the State Ministry of Health would undergo thorough investigation and appropriate action to safeguard the well-being of the people of Rivers State.

Africa Today News, New York 

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