|Queens College Yaba, Lagos|
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, stated this on Monday while giving an update on the outbreak of gastroenteritis in the school, noting that the school authorities in collaboration with the Parent-Teacher Association, Old Girls Association and the Federal Ministry of Education had successfully addressed identified areas of lapses by instituting control measures.
He said, “The control measures include decommissioning of the multiple contaminated water sources, deployment of a single water source with water treatment, renovation of the dining hall, decontamination of the hostels and overhauling of the sewage system and clearance of the septic tanks. Periodic testing and retesting of water sources will still go on in line with international best practices.
“I am delighted to inform you that based on the results of the analysis of the latest water samples collected on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, all water delivery points have been certified to conform to official specifications and I hereby recommend to the school authorities resumption of students of Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos.”
PUNCH Metro had reported that many pupils of the school were admitted in the sickbay after eating spaghetti and drinking water said to have been contaminated.
Two pupils – Vivian Osuiniyi and Bithia Itulua – who were in Junior Secondary School two and three respectively, reportedly died as a result of the epidemic.
Idris, a few weeks later released a statement saying health records from the school’s sickbay indicated that a total of 1,222 pupils presented themselves at the school’s clinic on account of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The statement noted that 16 pupils were admitted to various hospitals. While two were confirmed died, one was on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of LASUTH.
Praise Sodipo, the pupil, who was admitted to the ICU, later died, bringing the number of deaths to three.
The health commissioner also recommended that the school be shut to allow health workers to trace and tackle the challenge.
Idris on Monday emphasised the need for the school authorities and appropriate federal agencies to supervise continuous screening, follow-up and monitoring of all pupils and staff of the school because of the “polymicrobial” nature of the outbreak.
The commissioner also revealed that four out of the 25 infected kitchen workers that were treated still harboured some bacteria, recommending that the four workers be made to undergo further treatment, be prevented from handling food and redeployed from the kitchen area.
He disclosed that since the outbreak of the disease in the school, 40 cases were admitted to various public and private hospitals in the state.
He added that 37 cases were discharged after full recovery while the remaining three were lost to the disease.
The commissioner noted that though no new case of the disease had been reported since the last case was discharged on April 18, 2017, he warned that sporadic cases might still occur due to multi-microbial nature of the disease occurrence.
He said the Queen’s College authorities and other proprietors of schools in the state must ensure strict compliance with personal and environmental hygiene.