The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has donated drugs and medical supplies for distribution to communities affected by the outbreak of cholera in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Presenting the items at the Model Primary Health Centre in Unyeada, Andoni, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Gbene Dr Joi Nunieh, said that it was part of the Commission’s efforts to improve health services in the rural communities of the Niger Delta region.
Nunieh, who was represented by the NDDC Director Special Duties, Mr Seigha Glasgow, said that the Commission did not hesitate in responding to the cholera outbreak to save lives in the affected communities.
She noted that the Interim Management Committee of the Commission was adopting a quick intervention strategy to address development and health challenges before they became huge problems for people in the rural communities.
Giving details of the medical consumables worth several millions of naira, the NDDC Director of Education, Health and Social Services, Mr Peter Edieya, said the items included cholera vaccines, several cartons of de-worming tablets, anti-biotic capsules, paediatric medicines, among others.
He explained that the drugs were handed over to medical officers at the health facility in Unyeada for further distribution to all affected communities because of the availability of a cold chain storage in the health centre.
Receiving the drugs, the Head of Facility at the Model Primary Health Centre, Dr Dickson Okwagwunu, expressed appreciation to the NDDC for promptly responding to the health crisis, which, he said, had so far led to the death of four persons in Unyeada.
He observed that cholera was an acute diarrheal disease that could kill within hours if left untreated, noting that 20 cases had been reported in Unyeada since the recent outbreak of the disease in the Andoni communities.
Okwagwunu lamented that the Unyeada community did not have access to good drinking water, which was usually the main trigger for cholera outbreak.
He said that the assistance of the NDDC would help in alleviating the suffering of those undergoing treatment at the health centre as well as assist the health teams to check the spread of the disease in the other communities.
The Unyeada Community Development Chairman, Rev Isaiah Martin, commended the NDDC for its quick intervention and appealed for more assistance in equipping the health centres in the area.
He also called for urgent action to tackle the water problem in the area.