No fewer than four persons have died as a result of an outbreak of cholera in Abinsi Town in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea led other health officials to the community to assess the situation.

The commissioner has advised riverside communities to avoid drinking water directly from rivers and streams to avoid an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Dr Ngbea warned residents against drinking water from contaminated sources, even as he encouraged them to always boil their water before drinking. He also urged them to use water guard to purify drinking water. Those with cases of vomiting and stooling, he said, should visit hospitals without delay for medical attention.

He directed that 10 extra beds be supplied to the treatment centre at the Benue University Teaching Hospital to contain the increasing cases of cholera outbreak and deployment of paediatrician to monitor the protocol of dehydration for effective handling of the cases.

Incident Manager, Emergency Operation Centre and State Epidemiologist Dr. Terungwa Ngishe explained that the cases were detected at Angwan Lanba whose source of drinking water is the river. He advised the people to take sanitation and personal hygiene seriously.

Kindred Head of Hausa-Kaba Community, Alhaji Danbala Labalan thanked the Governor Samuel Ortom and the Commissioner for their prompt intervention on the outbreak. He informed the team that they had an alert of a similar outbreak of the disease in Kaba community near New Bridge in Makurdi.

Chief Nursing Officer Primary Health care Centre Abinisi Mrs Janet Adzuu admitted that with the drugs received, they can manage the cases better, even as she expressed her gratitude to the Commissioner for the response while the Medical Officer of Vyonku Clinic and Maternity Dr Jibaniya Vyonku said the facility has recorded 25 cases, discharged 17, lost three and five were on admission.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Sir Andrew Amee and Director of Public Health Dr Terna Kur who accompanied the commissioner on the visit presented medical commodities such as Ringer Lactate IV fluids, Canula, Doxycycline and Cypro antibiotics, Zinc tablets, water guard, ORS, adhesive plaster, rolls of cotton wool and packs of syringes to the Abinsi PHC.