Cholera outbreak looms in Oyo metropolis

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From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo.

Unless the appropriate authorities urgently address the deplorable state of public health in Oyo metropolis, an epidemic outbreak is imminent.
Beside the fact that most residential buildings lack toilet
facilities, there is no provision for waste disposal, as heaps of
refuse litter everywhere .
As a result, residents defecate into near bushes and streams, with stenching odour, accompanied by swarm of house flies.
Some public primary schools in the four local government areas that constitute the metropolis have been turned into latrines, as residents go there at night to pass out
excreta.
On resuming the following day, the teachers and the pupils
would not only parade the stenching odour of the excreta, but be forced to clean the defecated classroom, and wash the desks and tables before they could be taught in the classrooms.
Scores of teachers and pupils were reportedly admitted at private hospitals for emissions of stenching odour from faeces, though no casualty has been recorded.
More worrisome is the unhygienic nature of the vicinity where foods are being sold to members of the public.
Freedom Online learned that most of the food vendors neither undergo any training on hygiene nor understand
the health implications of dirty environment to the public
Also, Owode, which is the commercial nerve centre of the metropolis, could not boast of any public toilet, except few private ones that charge between N20 and N30.
Freedom Online finding further revealed that inadequacy of Environmental Health Workers and lack of effective monitoring system by the officials compounded the disturbing public health situation in Oyo town and its environs.
Though the affected local governments are making efforts to ensure clean and healthy environment, care-free attitudes of residents due to lack of proper health education seem to be worsening the situation.
When contacted, former Caretaker Chairman of Atiba Local Government, Prince Hakeem Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of the four council chiefs, blamed filthiness on former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and immediate past council chairmen, who failed to judiciously utilise the monthly federation allocations received on environmental
sanitation.
Adeyemi disclosed that Alao-Akala, out of political vendetta, deliberately ordered that waste disposal vehicles meant for the four councils in Oyo Metropolis were not released to
them, while others received theirs.
According to him, “These waste disposal vehicles were purchased by the former administration with deductions from 33 Local Government funds in the state. With the support and cooperation of incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi, all the four local governments in the metropolis were able to receive theirs.
“These waste disposal vehicles are good for template, as everything about them are computerised. But we don’t need that type of vehicles because they are heavy trucks, and can’t go through the rural roads. They can only go through major streets. We told Alao-Akala to allow each council to buy two hunch back refuse vans, which will be good for
the services required. Many thanks to the administration of Governor Ajimobi for its onerous determination and sincerity of purpose in ensuring healthy environment through weekly environmental sanitation”.
While disclosing that about seven VIP toilets have been constructed by his local government for the people, he said the Environmental Health Department is not relenting in embarking on clearing of refuse and drainage to check imminence of cholera outbreak.
During my first tenure in office, as Chairman, I wanted to employ more health attendants, and environmental health officers because of my priority for public health and security. But former governor Alao-Akala placed embargo on employment. Presently, the Council could only boast of three health attendants, and about eight environmental
health officers.’’
Atiba Local Government, apart from being indigenous, and the largest among the four local governments, is also the second largest in the state.

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