Federal and Ogun State Authorities on High Alert Amid Cholera Outbreaks

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

PRINCIPALS OF Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) nationwide have been instructed to implement stringent measures to prevent the spread of cholera within their institutions in a directive was issued by Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the Minister of State for Education, during an interactive session in Abuja.

As Nigeria grapples with a severe cholera outbreak, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported over 1,528 suspected cases across 31 states.

The most affected areas include Lagos, Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, and Nasarawa.

Dr. Sununu emphasized the critical role of school principals in early detection and response to cholera symptoms and urged the educational leaders to maintain vigilant hygiene practices and report any signs of the disease immediately to the Ministry of Education.

“The current cholera outbreak is a significant challenge, and it is essential that principals establish protocols to identify early signs of the disease. Prompt action and communication with the ministry are crucial to safeguarding our schools,” stated Sununu.

He also highlighted that maintaining hygiene is a collective responsibility and integral to the government’s efforts to control the outbreak.

Additionally, Dr. Sununu stressed the importance of professionalizing the teaching profession as he psyched principals to ensure that all teachers obtain certification from the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), noting that many educators have yet to regularize their certificates.

Sununu further cautioned that teachers who fail to renew their annual practicing licenses would be considered unqualified.

In response to the minister’s directives, Dr. Idowu Akinbamijo, Principal of the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC) in Ilesa, discussed ongoing efforts to enhance school security and health measures, calling for the recruitment of more teachers, particularly in critical subjects, to address the shortage and improve educational outcomes.

Ogun State Gets Ready to Tackle Cholera

SIMULTANEOUSLY, Ogun State authorities have acknowledged the cholera outbreak within their jurisdiction and outlined their preparedness to manage the situation.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, reported 25 cases and one death across seven local government areas, including Ado-Odo/Ota, Remo North, Odeda, Sagamu, Ijebu-North, Ewekoro, and Obafemi-Owode.

During a press conference in Abeokuta, Dr. Coker detailed the collaborative efforts among various ministries and stakeholders to combat the outbreak.

She said the Emergency Operations Centre is actively responding, and measures are being taken to curb open defecation and improve environmental hygiene.

“Medications and essential supplies have been distributed to local government areas and strategic health facilities to ensure free, quality treatment for cholera patients in all government facilities,” Dr. Coker explained.

She also noted that public awareness campaigns about hygiene and sanitation practices are also underway through multiple media channels.

Also, Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Ola Oresanya, added that the ministry is testing water sources, including boreholes and sachet water producers, to prevent waterborne transmission of cholera whilst more public toilets are being constructed to discourage open defecation just as landlords are encouraged to provide adequate sanitation facilities.

Oluwole Majekodunmi from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology confirmed that no deaths have been reported in schools, and enhanced monitoring and hygiene practices are being promoted among students and staff to maintain clean environments.

Furthermore, the General Manager of the Ogun State Water Corporation, Engr. Muinat Jaji, announced that the government has procured sufficient chemicals for water treatment and supply in Abeokuta has been increased from 82 million liters to 162 million liters to ensure residents have access to potable water.

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