MAKURDI — The death toll in the recent cholera outbreak in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State has continued to rise with the epidemic claiming 12 more lives, including women and children.
Also, at least 80 victims of the epidemic are now receiving treatment at the Otukpo GeneralHospital and few private hospitals in the town.
Vanguard gathered that the disease which earlier broke out in Otukpo Wards 1 and 2 had as at yesterday spread to four council wards which include Allan Akpa, Otobi Akpa and Ewulo
A nurse at the Otukpo GeneralHospital, who preferred anonymity, told Vanguard that the disease had reached an epidemic level in the town.
She said: “Since we noticed the first outbreak of the disease in Otukpo main town, some few weeks ago, the ailment has continued to spread to other parts of the council and the fear is that it is becoming excessively prevalent.
“There is hardly a day that we do not record new cases of the disease in the hospital and most of the patients are usually from the main town.
“The situation at the hinterlands and neighbouring villages is even worst because we hear daily of new cases and deaths in these communities. And the figure keeps rising due mainly to lack of proper medicare for victims.
“Our fear is that in the last few days we have recorded about 12 deaths while over 80 persons are receiving treatment in the hospital and if the government does not act fast we might be faced with a pandemic with its attendant consequences on the health of the people of the town.”
Contacted, the Otukpo local government council chairman, Dr. Innocent Onuh, who is also a medical doctor, said his council had commenced free distribution of necessary drugs to hospitals and patients within the council.
He said: “Apart from that, we have also intensified publicity around the town, informing the people on the need for them to boil their water before drinking.
“As for the number of deaths, I cannot specifically tell you now because most of the cases are being recorded at the hinterlands. But we are also collaborating with the state government and the state ministry of health to stem the diseases. I can assure you that we are on top of the situation right.”