The Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Jafaru Sani, on Monday confirmed the outbreak of cholera at the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Kawo.
According to him, ”over 40 students have been hospitalised out of about 55 cases.”
The commissioner was fielding questions from journalists at the school premises where he went to observe the situation.
It was earlier reported how a student of the school died while 39 others were hospitalised following an outbreak of suspected diarrhoea in the school.
The incident occurred Sunday after the students reportedly complained of stomach pain and started vomiting.
The lone student died Sunday night after being taken to a private hospital for treatment.
A parent, whose daughter was affected, Ibrahima Yakubu, confirmed the incident adding that her daughter was taken to the hospital.
Also, a member of the State Disease Control Agency, Kaduna North branch, Suleiman Ibrahim, whose team visited the school on Monday, confirmed the situation.
He said the students suffered from gastroenteritis.
The ailment is an intestinal infection marked by diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
Health experts say a lot of the symptoms of cholera overlap with the symptoms of the other forms of gastroenteritis, like vomiting and nausea and abdominal pain. But what really sets cholera apart is the severe dehydration and diarrhoea.
The commissioner, however, confirmed the outbreak as cholera, adding that the situation is under control. He confirmed the death of the student.
He said 15 of the girls admitted were discharged from the hospital.
Mr Jafaru said the Ministry of Education already has already contacted the Ministry of Health ”who responded by sending a team of medical personnel.”
“We received a report early this morning of a suspected outbreak of Cholera. The Ministry of Education promptly contacted the Ministry of Health and Human Services who responded by sending a team of medical personnel to bring immediate intervention to them (students).
“As it is now, we are told in the morning, 55 of the students were affected and now about 40 of them admitted at the General Hospital, Kawo. Fifteen have been discharged and are on their way to their various homes for further treatment,” he said.
He said despite the incident, the school will not be closed.
He also explained the possible cause of the outbreak as the absence of functional treated borehole for provision of potable water.
“That led some of the students to be using the alternative wells we have in the school. We suspect that it is from these wells that some of them got infected,” he said.
He also explained that ”there are functional toilets in the hostels and around, only a few of them are not good.”