Cholera Outbreak In Bakassi : Six Deaths, 34 Cases Being Treated

The epidemic in Idabato, Bakassi Peninsula and its environs is under control, say health officials in the area.

Emergency measures are underway to circumscribe, treat and prevent the cholera outbreak that has hit Idabato, one of the five Sub-Divisions that make up the Bakassi Peninsular in Ndian Division of the South West Region.

The epidemic began showing its ugly head by the 12 of November when many cases of running stomach, vomiting and generalized weakness were received in the local Health Centre. Regional authorities were alerted and on 20 November, the South West Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Ebongo Zacks Nanje, mobilized to the creek area with primary assistance to the people of Idabato.

Going by information from the Regional Delegate of Public Health, environmental hygiene is very poor in the area. Though the people live along the sea, portable water is rare to find. The culture of good toilets is absent. The local health centre is inadequate to withstand any epidemic outbreak. All of these compound to make the area prone to epidemics. The Regional Delegate of Public Health said two cases were also detected in Isangele and Ekondo Titi “We intend to create an alert and treatment centre in neighbouring Districts of Limbe, Tiko, Ekondo Titi, so that if such cases have migrated there, they could be easily attended to” the Regional Delegate explained.

The current situation at Idabato, Bakassi Health District is that of an epidemic. It is alleged that someone of about 70 years old from the fishing community from Nigeria took ill and died, and the corpse was transported to Nigeria. After that incident, other people started observing signs and symptoms of cholera. Nine cases were reported among which two persons died, a 70-year-old and a 12-year boy. Two samples were collected to Douala where it turned out positive for vibrio cholera germ and this by World Health Organisation standards is enough to declare an epidemic.

Dr. Ebongo Z. Nanje further explains that three days after, three other cases were discovered. On November 20, a medical team went to Bakassi, alongside the BIR medical team. The Governor of the South West Region is informed about the situation, who in his position informed the Senior Divisional Officers of border Divisions of Manyu, Ndian and Fako so as to step up cross border disease surveillance. “We went there and made an active search where we came out with eight more cases which then increased the number to twenty. Upon our return to Buea, a case was reported in Jabane, of a fouryear- old boy. The Military Doctors working in Bakassi came here and reported that 13 other cases have been reported among who four had died. So far, we are talking about 34 cases with six deaths”, Dr Ebongo explained. An emergency World Health Organisation treatment centre for cholera has been created in the area. In Jabane, the medical team from BIR is at work



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