Cholera epidemic looms in Ekiti State as no fewer than 300 students of the Federal Government Girls’ College in Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, are currently been hospitalized.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the affected students who are currently receiving treatment at various hospital across the state including the state Specialist Hospital, Ado Ekiti, were not infected at the same time, but they were taken to the hospital in batches since last week.
Already, the development had triggered serious panic across the state, as parents whose wards are in the school rushed to the school in droves to identify the victims.
It was also reliably confirmed that the signs had started manifesting since October 10, when some students were vomiting and stooling uncontrollably, which sparked up fear among the staff and students.
The Principal of the college, Mrs. Grace Ogunyomi, who initially managed the situation had to run to the state government for possible assistance when she realised that it was getting out of her control.
The State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, who promptly attended to their case, had ordered the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo, to deploy professionals and drugs to help in stemming the tide of the epidemic.
In a chat with Health commissioner, he allayed the fear being exhibited by parents, stating that it was a gastrointestinal infection popularly called diarrhoea.
It was reliably confirmed that about 31 of them were still being hospitalized at the Efon General Hospital, while many had been treated and released, having responded to treatment in time.
Daily Times further gathered that what the teachers had earlier suspected was that their food and water must have been contaminated, leading to outbreak of the epidemic in the school.
But a teacher of the college who spoke with newsmen under anonymity confirmed that medical examination of the samples of their water and food later confirmed that the infection did not emanate from those sources.
“What we felt was that, we thought their food and water had been infected, but we later gathered that it was not from that source.
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Folakemi Olomojobi, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, disclosed that the disease had attacked about 300 students, but pointed out that only 20 of them are still being attended to while others have been discharged in batches.
Dr. Ojo said the ministry had brought in environmental health officials, while many professionals were still being deployed to nip the crisis in the bud.
“We had alerted the water corporation to chlorinate their water. They have about six boreholes and we have got them chlorinated, because we know as professionals that the water could be a source.
“We are trying to look into their environment, so that we can get where such could had broken out. We want to know how they dump their faeces and how they dump their sewages.
“We have taken their blood samples of students infected to the hospital and preliminary test shows that it was not cholera. It was diarrhoea and vomiting. We are sending the samples for further test to confirm that it was not cholera”, she said.