Following the recent outbreak of cholera that claimed five lives in Ogun, the state government Saturday vowed to lock up houses without toilet facilities and arrest the landlords.
The outbreak hit major areas such as Abule-Otun, Lafenwa, Kuto and Idi-Aba in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Adesanya Ayinde, while speaking to journalists at a press conference said Governor Dapo Abiodun gave a directive to his ministry to lock up houses without toilet facilities.
Ayinde said officials of his ministry and that of the Ministry of Environment would be going round the state to carry out the directive of the governor this week.
He said the governor opined that open defecation in the 21st century has become unacceptable world over given the danger it is capable of unleashing on human lives, such as cholera and other infections.
He stated further that government will soon send workers out to inspect the length and breadth of the state, warning that anyone found flouting the order will face the wrath of the law.
“Government will soon send its workers to inspect houses across the state. Any house owner who fails to provide toilet in his house would be made to face the consequences,” the permanent secretary stated.
Highlighting the efforts made by the present administration in the state to contain the epidemic, he said government had swung into action on confirming an index case by commencing thorough investigation in the suspected areas and visiting the health facilities in the communities for search in case of any active complaints.
Ayinde stated that out of the five deaths reported in the news, only one was taken to government health facility, pointing out that contact tracing helped the officials to get information on the other victims.
“Away from insinuations from some quarters, not only cholera causes vomiting and diarrhea but the index case was confirmed by a laboratory test.
“Our action is to see that we disseminate correct information to different places. We have our Information Communication Education (IEC) materials across the state, including the rural areas,” he said.
Ayinde said that the state hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, has been identified as referral center for treatment, adding that cholera alert has been sent to all health facilities in the state in case of any suspected patient.
He added that the present administration in the state has decided to fumigate the affected areas through the ministries of health and agriculture respectively to get rid of infectious diseases.