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Lagos Govt Establishes Emergency Operation Centre as Gastroenteritis Breaks Out

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Wednesday, said that the outcome of laboratory tests conducted on reported cases of gastroenteritis in the state was positive.

Abayomi said that further investigation was ongoing to ascertain whether cholera was solely responsible for the entire cases or if there are other pathogens in the cases recorded.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infection, and causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

NAN reports that Lagos State on October 31 said 117 cases of gastroenteritis had been reported at health facilities in five Local Government Areas of the state.

Abayomi noted that the state had been proactive in its response and management of the excess cases of vomiting and diarrhoea since the report was made.

The commissioner said the state government inaugurated an Emergency Operation Centre in response to the outbreak of the disease and other infectious diseases in the state.

He noted that the centre, domiciled within the health ministry, would review plans and interventions, coordinate implementation of measures to effectively curtail the spread of the disease, and manage future occurrences promptly.

bayomi said the centre had representatives from the Ministry of Health; Primary Health Care Board; Health Service Commission; Lagos Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Central Public Health Laboratory.

The commissioner noted that disease surveillance officers at the state and local government levels were currently carrying out intensive surveillance to stop the spread of the disease.

According to him, the state is currently devising various strategies to forestall future occurrences.

“We are really taking this as an opportunity to strengthen our response and preparedness so that we can be on top of this situation very quickly.

“We have learnt a lot of lessons today; we have a lot of resources in Lagos, we just need a better way of coordinating the response, and making sure that we are able to distribute our resources under this kind of circumstances.

“We have also put in place some measures and specific action plans, so that in the future when we have this climatic situation, where there are excessive rains, we would be in a better position to respond proactively.

“Anticipate that we are going to have this kind of scenarios, and be in a better position to respond very quickly, even in a very more efficacious way, to any waterborne or airborne outbreaks, that may happen in our state,” he said.

Abayomi noted that government would not relent in ensuring that citizens remain safe and healthy, noting that the well-being of residents was paramount to the present administration.

He advised members of the public to pay due attention to personal hygiene and environmental sanitation, avoid open defecation and imbibe the culture of regular hand washing.

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