From Rose Ejembi Makurdi

At least, 200 cases of cholera have been confirmed across four local government areas of Benue State.

Twenty persons were also reported to have died from the outbreak of the disease in Guma, Agatu, Gwer-West and Makurdi local government areas of the state.

Leader of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Rapid Response team working in Benue State, Ikechukwu Oradu, disclosed this during a visit to the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, at the Government House in Makurdi on Tuesday.

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The NCDC official said the deaths and cases occurred in the last few weeks and that findings revealed the affected communities lacked potable water and that the people were drinking directly from the river.

He enjoined the state government to consider drilling boreholes and public toilets in the affected communities so that they could stop open defecation as well as the provision of rapid diagnostic kits for testing of cholera in the state.

The deputy governor said the Ministry of Health and Human Services had treated those affected since the outbreak, a development which, he noted, had stopped the mortality rate from escalating.

Abounu revealed further that approval has been given for the construction of a world standard testing laboratory for Lassa fever, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the state.