Doris Obinna

Following growing concern over recent rise in the cases of gastroenteritis in Lagos, the government has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate response.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who inaugurated the centre yesterday, said the EOC is a command and control centre headquartered in the Ministry of Health that will coordinate and finetune logistics and resources in response to increase in numbers of diarrhea and vomiting recorded in the past weeks.

No fewer than 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.

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He noted that EOC, made up of representatives from the Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Board, Health Service Commission, Lagos Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), World Health Organization (WHO) and Central Public Health Laboratory, amongst others, will be meeting on a daily basis, collating results, reviewing plans and interventions and suggesting and coordinating the implementation of measures to effectively curtail the spread of the disease and manage future occurrences promptly and effectively.

“The EOC is made up of sub thematic areas of surveillance and laboratory; communication, health education and social mobilization; case management and infection control as well as logistics and data management. We are going to have a complete narratives of what happened during these past weeks on lessons learnt and how we going to move forward,” he said.

Abayomi revealed that some samples which was collected in the course of the investigation and sent to the laboratory tested positive to a type of cholera.

He urged the public to pay due attention to personal hygiene and environmental sanitation by keeping their environment clean, avoid open defecation, ensure drains are clean and water are able to flow freely and imbibe the culture of regular hand washing. “Citizens should visit the nearest health facilities early when they are sick and avoid going to work or school where they are likely to infect others.”