Daily Trust (Abuja)

13 December 2013

Nigeria: Residents Die, Others in Hospital As Disease Strikes Nasarawa

Lafia — Health authorities are reporting deaths from a yet to be named disease which hit Awe, headquarters of Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, even as residents say the disease has already killed nine persons with 22 others reported to be in hospital.

Our correspondent reports that the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, has acknowledged two deaths which he said are unrelated to cholera.

"I can confirm 17 cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. None tested positive for cholera. I had constituted an emergency health team when this was reported to me. I sent the team down to Awe immediately. They moved them all to the hospital. But two had already died. The others have been treated and are doing well," Dr. Akabe said.

Also, the Director of Personnel Management (DPM) David Ari, acting as the local government chairman, said only four persons died in Awe while five were hospitalized at the Primary Health Care centre in the area. He said local government health personnel intervened with treatment, adding that reports from the health team showed that they suffered vomiting and diarrhoea, denying the reported cholera.

Our correspondent however gathered that a suspected water-borne disease was first reported at Akwete, a village outside the local government headquarters, before it was observed to have spread to both Old Awe and New Awe areas of the township.

Alhaji Tanimu Bako Audu, a relative of one of the deceased said the disease ravaged the three areas for two weeks without any intervention.

"I lost a relative at the weekend after we rushed him to hospital. He was vomiting and stooling. He suffered stomach ache," said Audu. He said no fewer than five persons have died within Awe.

It was gathered that a woman died in Akwete where the disease was first reported, while a man was hospitalized, after he suffered similar symptoms. Residents of the township also said not less than eight others died there, while 22 others have been hospitalized, in two weeks.

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